The tragic reality of drunk driving

Readers may have already seen the somewhat comical images of a BMW parked on top of a Mini at Hilltop Garage in Helston, which could have ended in tragedy rather than laughter.

The BMW driver was subsequently charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and is due to appear in court next week. It was exceptionally lucky that no one, including the driver, was seriously injured or worse.

Not only was the driver over the legal limit, he was also travelling at such an excessive speed that he managed to mount two grass verges and a central reservation, shunt a large lump of granite and end up on top of another car, crumpling the bonnet.

There is no excuse to get behind the wheel of a vehicle when not fit to drive, the risk to human life is far too high.

More than 20 years ago, a local businessman was involved in an incident with a drunk driver, a night which changed his life forever and a night that robbed three young people of their futures and lives.

Here in his own words, Steve Kimberly remembered that night on the 21st anniversary of the incident last June.

“Today is the anniversary that no parents ever want to remember. It was 21 years ago today that we lost my eldest son Matt (12), my daughter Lucy (10) and my good friend Ben Jewell (19) when a paralytic drink driver came speeding downhill and straight through my car at Notter Bridge, near Plymouth. He came out of nowhere as dusk fell and frankly we didn’t stand a chance.

“I can still feel the force of the impact and the rush of air together with the sound of breaking glass and crumpling metal as our cars met head on. I can clearly remember the horror as the amazing emergency services and people around us tried to cut us free. That never goes away. To say that night changed so many lives for our families and friends would be a massive understatement. I have always used this fateful day along with their birthday’s to highlight the dangers and consequences of driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. And for the record it’s not any particular age or social group that thinks it’s fine to do so. Please also remember you can also be over the limit the following day too if you’ve had a lot to drink or taken drugs.

“It’s really quite simple everyone-if you can afford a drink, you can afford a taxi, maybe walk home safely or have a designated driver to ferry you around.”

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