£50,000 cost of ‘one more drink for road’

Darien Long delivers drink drive  posters around Spalding pubs.
Darien Long delivers drink drive posters around Spalding pubs.
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A drink-drive campaign that warns one for the road could cost a motorist £50,000 is unlikely to hit home in South Holland like personal tragedy.

According to research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, the personal cost of a humble pint – including fines, legal fees, a hike in car insurance premiums and possible job loss – can total between £20,000 and £50,000.

Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond appeared alongside a “£50,000 pint” last week to emphasise the point as the Government launched its £1.68m THINK! campaign of TV and radio adverts.

However, the boyfriend of a Donington woman killed when a drink-driver hit her moped as she rode to work in the early hours said nothing compares with the devastation when someone close dies in this way – and in South Holland there are also concerns the main point of the campaign could be lost in translation.

Darien Long circulated posters around pubs and clubs in the Spalding area to warn New Year’s revellers what could happen if they took a risk and had one for the road.

He said: “I hope the new campaign is successful – there are some people who are more money orientated than sensitive. But to my mind nothing can compare with the tragedy of losing someone in this way. It still haunts me but it’s difficult to talk about it because the whole family is affected.”

He said he was pleased with the response to the Christmas and New Year campaign, which saw a fall in the number of drink-drivers caught.

According to Spalding police, between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, 11 drivers were found to have more than 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, which is the legal limit, compared to 14 last year.

John Siddle, spokesman for the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said he welcomed any campaign aimed at keeping the county’s roads safer.

He said: “The good news is we have finally got drink-driving in the niche spot where people know it’s wrong to drink-drive and more are likely to call the police if they suspect someone is intending to drive over the limit.

“However, it is a fact that we do have a large number of foreign nationals whose culture was to drink. Drinking in the workplace was accepted in Communist countries as a way of keeping the masses happy.

“Trying to break that culture is difficult. I worry the point of the new campaign will be lost in translation.”