the parents of a drink drive victim are warning of the devastating impact of driving under the influence of alcohol, as part of a Christmas police campaign.
Janet and Andrew Alston from Simonstone have spoken about the devastating effect drink driving has had on their lives after their 18 year-old son Matthew Alston was killed in Read two years ago when he drove to a friend’s house still unknowingly drunk the morning after a night out.
Police will be working with Lancashire County Council’s road safety team to raise awareness of the issues involved with drink and drug driving.
The annual festive crackdown will also see police officers across the county breathalyse and drugs test thousands of drivers around the clock at high-profile checkpoints.
Mr and Mrs Alston said: “Matthew died as a result of driving the morning after he had been out drinking with friends. 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 his system.
“On the day we were told Matt had died, we were just in shock, in a daze. It was devastating. Matt was just a normal lad, we are a normal family; surely it wouldn’t happen to us, but it did.
“This ‘Morning After’ campaign highlights the true effects of drinking and driving.
“Matt and his friends would always use taxis for nights out, but didn’t always think about the morning after.”
Supt Richard Morgan from Lancashire Police said: “Last December, 13,000 drivers from across Lancashire were tested during the month-long campaign, with just 168, or 1.3% of people testing positive or refusing to provide a specimen. This compares to 2% for the 2010 campaign and 2.2% for the 2009 campaign so the message is getting through.
“However, last year 280 people were killed across the country in accidents where the driver was over the limit. If you don’t drink and drive this Christmas you reduce the risk of killing an innocent person, or yourself. It is really that simple.”
If you would like to report someone who you suspect of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contact the police on 101.