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Anti drink drive campaign
A decision to drive after drinking at home cost a young man his liberty and a female friend her life.
Warren Passey from Cheltenham was an ordinary man with a regular life whose outlook has now changed forever because of his decision to drink and drive.
Warren is fronting this year's Anti Drink Drive Campaign by Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Police to highlight the consequences of drinking and driving.
Warren was spending an evening at home with his friends and had drunk a couple of drinks when they decided to go out to get some food. It was foggy outside and Warren was driving when he lost control of his vehicle. It was only after he was arrested and taken to Cheltenham police station that Warren was informed that his female friend who was a rear seat passenger had died after being thrown through the window of the car.
Warren received a three-year prison sentence and lost his driving licence, but has lost a great deal more, as a consequence of his actions.
Warren said; "As a convicted drink driver, not only do I have to live with the fact that I took a friend's life, but the plans I had for myself have changed. I now have a police record and I cannot have the career I hoped for.
"Being in prison isn't an experience I want to repeat and I hope that by sharing my story, I make other young people take the time to stop and think before contemplating drinking and driving. It's just not worth taking the risk and it can have terrible consequences for you, your family and your friends."
Warren will be talking about his experience at the launch of this year's campaign in the Custody Suite at Cheltenham Police Station on Friday 1st December.
Councillor Stan Waddington, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Road Safety, said: "For the first time, the focus of Gloucestershire's campaign is the impact of drink driving on the driver. Warren’s life and those of his friends have changed irreparably because of one thoughtless mistake.
"It is not safe to drive after any amount of drink, however small, as it impairs your ability to drive safely and it is impossible to calculate if you are over the limit. The sensible option is not to drink at all as it takes less than you think to become a drink driver."
Inspector Charlie Laporte, Traffic Management Inspector for the Gloucestershire Constabulary said: "The perils of drink driving are well publicised and we enforce the drink drive regulations year round. However, Christmas is a time when we particularly focus on this issue, as we well know that people have a tendency to indulge in alcohol more at this time of year.
"Sadly we generally arrest a lot of people for drink driving during the festive season. We arrested 101 of the 3156 breath tested in the Christmas campaign last year, and 46 of the 2034 tested the year before.
"We are hoping that anyone hearing of the human tragedy which results from drink driving may think twice before driving after drinking alcohol this year. The loss of life that results from drink driving on many occasions is completely unnecessary and tragic. If the human tragedy caused by drink driving still does not have an impact then we hope the threat of a loss of licence and possibly career will. There really is no excuse for not booking a taxi to get home after a night out or abstaining where alternative arrangements cannot be made."
An accident-damaged car will also be on display at the police station together with firefighters and ambulance crews.
: 30/11/2006 16:49:50
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