Driving and drink don’t mix

In 1872, the first laws were introduced to make the driving of a horse and carriage while drunk a criminal offence.

In 1967, the breathalyser was introduced as a deterrent to combat drink-driving of motor vehicles, yet here we are 2013 and page 13 of the Gazette reports another case of a driver convicted of driving while two and a half times over the legal limit.

The photograph alongside the article clearly demonstrates the financial cost to the community of these offences, with the attendance of police and fire crews as well as the cost to the innocent victims who have had their property damaged.

Luckily, no one was killed or injured in this particular incident and the culprit was caught and brought before the court.

In court, the usual pleas of mitigation were trotted out but let’s be honest, how bad does life have to be to turn a driver into a potential killer.

As drivers, we all know its wrong to consume alcohol and then drive our vehicles, but it would seem that there is still a mindless minority out there who just don’t care about anyone other than themselves.

It’s at this point in the whole sorry tale that I begin to feel disappointed and somewhat let down by the fact that the magistrates handed down such a derisory penalty, £110 fine and a 17-month driving ban seems very light.

If we really do want to stamp out these offences, the magistrates should have the power to hand out more than a slap on the wrist and be prepared to use it.

CS Blease,