Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Parents plea to stop drink drivers

A family who lost their son in a drink drive accident are warning others not to get behind the wheel after one too many this Christmas.

Janet and her husband Andrew Alston lost 18 year old Matthew Alston two years ago when he drove to a friend’s house still unknowingly drunk the morning after a night out.

Janet and Andrew Alston

96 800x600 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Times; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}Janet and Andrew said: “Matthew died as aresult of driving the ‘Morning After’ he had been out drinking alcohol withfriends. He drove without realising the amount of alcohol still in his body.Later we discovered he had twice the legal drink drive limit still in hissystem.

“On that day, when we were told Matt had died, wewere just in shock; in a daze. Andrew and myself were away and were told overthe phone by a police officer. It was devastating. Matt was just a normal lad,we are a normal family; surely it wouldn’t happen to us, but it has.

“Matt had a massive amount of friends. He was socheeky; Always laughing and joking. That's something we'll never have again."

Today Lancashire Police along with forces across the region are launching their drink drive campaigns to raise awareness of the issues involved with drink and drugs. At Edge Hill University Matthew’s mangled car will be on display tohighlighting the dangers of drink driving.

96 800x600 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Times; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}“This ‘Morning After’ campaign highlights the trueeffects of drinking and driving. Over 10,000 young people in Lancashire haveseen the devastation of Matt's car and have expressed genuine shock at thereality of how easily something like this can happen.

Superintendent Richard Morgan from LancashirePolice said: “Last December over 13,000 drivers from across Lancashire weretested during the month-long campaign, with just 168, or 1.3 per cent, ofpeople testing positive or refusing to provide a specimen. This compares to 2per cent for the 2010 campaign and 2.2 per cent for the 2009 campaign so themessage is getting through.

Matthew Alston

This year’s campaign will specifically target drink and or drug drivers under 25 and those who drive the morning after a night drinking.

During the 2011 festive campaign, the failure rate amongst under 25s was 1.7 per cent compared to 1.2 per cent for the over 25 category.

Lancashire Constabulary have also teamed up with a school in Lancaster whose pupils have produced a short play as part of an interschool competition featuring an emotive poem that tells the story of a teenage boy who heeded his parent’s advice not to drink drive but was then killed on his way home from a party by a drink driver.

Police are also urging revellers to take care during the party season and have issued the following advice:

Do not drive after a night out drinking. You are likely to still be over the limit.If you are going out and drinking, plan how you are going to get home and stick to that plan.Try to keep to busy well-lit areas, don't take short cuts and walk away from bushes and buildings.Where possible, don't walk alone after dark. Take someone you know with you.Always walk facing oncoming traffic.To avoid delay, have your keys ready when you are approaching your car or home.Never accept lifts from strangers.When telephoning for a taxi, ask for the driver's name and check this when they arrive.