Mum urges ‘don’t drink and drive’ four years on from daughter’s death
- Credit: Archant
A grieving mum from Soham whose daughter was killed by a speeding drink driver is urging people not to be the cause of another family’s tragedy this Christmas.
Claire Danks, 47, is encouraging motorists not to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs - as part of Cambridgeshire Police’s month-long campaign - following the death of her 22-year-old daughter, Lauren, in 2016.
She was killed on her way home from work in 2016 by drunk motorist Nelson Curtis, who was driving at over 100mph on the A11 at Red Lodge, Suffolk. He was later jailed for seven years.
Mrs Danks, from Soham, is now an ambassador for the Road Victims Trust, a charity that supports victims of fatal and life-changing road collisions across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
She said: “Being told our daughter was dead was like dropping a bomb and blowing our lives into pieces. The pain is unimaginable and there is nothing that will fix it.
“We think about Lauren every day and have many wonderful memories. But there are so many more we won’t get to have. We won’t see her get married, she will never have children. We don’t even know what she would look like now.
“What happened that night haunts us every day. Please don’t be the cause of another family’s tragedy. Please don’t drink and drive.”
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The warning comes after Cambridgeshire Police released figures showing that, last year, 2,244 motorists were caught drink or drug driving across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. This is the equivalent to one every four hours.
Sergeant James Thorne, from the BCH Roads Policing Unit, said: “No matter how you choose to celebrate Christmas this year, please do it safely and do not put lives and livelihoods at risk by drink or drug driving.
“It has been a hard year and we understand some people will want to make the most of the festivities. While 2020 has been different in so many ways, the law remains the same. If we catch you driving under the influence, we will prosecute you.
“Whether you stay at home or go out to celebrate, remember that alcohol takes time to leave your system. Every person is different.
“It is very difficult to know exactly how much alcohol has been consumed and how long it will take to leave your bloodstream. You may still be over the drink drive limit the following morning.”
Motorists caught drink or drug driving face a 12-month ban, a large fine, and a criminal record. These can lead to job loss, relationship breakdowns, foreign travel restrictions and increased insurance premiums.
To report an incident of drink or drug driving, call 101 or 999 in an emergency. People can also report drink or drug driving via a dedicated, confidential hotline.
The hotline: 0800 032 0845 is available 24/7, and gives people the chance to help reduce the number of drink or drug drivers on the roads.
For more information about drink or drug driving, the law and the dangers it can cause, as well as the confidential hotline, visit the force’s dedicated web page on driving under the influence.