Families unite in pursuit of firmer drink-drive laws

Families unite in pursuit of firmer drink-drive laws
Theresa May will on Thursday face a call for tougher penalties for drink-drivers who kill other road users.

Two bereaved families will hand petitions to 10 Downing Street demanding a change in the sentencing guidelines covering drink-drive killers.

There seems to be public support for such a move. In July, the road safety charity Brake compiled a survey of 1,000 adults and found that 91% supported the idea that drivers causing death while under the influence of alcohol or drugs ought to be charged with manslaughter, a crime carrying a maximum life sentence.

That the current position is far from this was highlighted by the cases of the families who will petition the Prime Minister.

Richard and Ceinwen Briddon from west Wales lost their daughter Miriam, aged 21, when a drunken driver veered on to her side of the road, killing her instantly. The man pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to five years in prison.

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It is thought he will serve just two and a half years.

In a similar way, Lorraine Allaway from Long Preston near Skipton lost her husband Robert after a drink-driver crashed into him while he was riding his motorbike in the Yorkshire Dales.

The man was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison after admitting causing death by driving without due care and attention, but, again, is likely to serve just two and a half years.

Brake again, has thrown its weight behind calls to lower the current drink-drive limit on the UK’s roads.

Mr and Mrs Briddon said: “We named the petition ‘A Moment for Miriam’ as we were asking people to take a moment of their time to read about Miriam and to sign our petition.”

Mrs Allaway said: “I am hoping to get a debate going regarding sentences for criminal drivers who kill. I will continue to campaign until the sentencing for these drivers has been changed.”

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Brake said: “The Government must…enable police to step up enforcement by making roads policing a national policing priority, so more resources are invested in catching drunk, drugged and other dangerous drivers.

“The police need also powers to carry out targeted testing to provide a stronger deterrent.”

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.