Drink drive figures on the up

A MUM whose son's life was torn apart by a drink-driver today said she is horrified to learn that more people are getting behind the wheel drunk.New House of Commons information shows in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available, 1,332 people in Suffolk were convicted of driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.

A MUM whose son's life was torn apart by a drink-driver today said she is horrified to learn that more people are getting behind the wheel drunk.

New House of Commons information shows in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available, 1,332 people in Suffolk were convicted of driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.

This number is an increase of nearly 50 per cent from 902 convictions in 2000.

Monica Scarlett, whose son Andrew was left with life-changing injuries after Craig Potter ploughed his car into him in Key Street, Ipswich, on the morning of November 22.

Potter, who had downed two cans of lager after a late shift at Felixstowe docks, pleaded guilty to drink driving and dangerous driving and was given a 12 month jail sentence in January.

Meanwhile Mr Scarlett is still unable to walk and has also been emotionally scarred by the crash.

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Mrs Scarlett, 77, of Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich, said: “He still can't walk; he uses crutches and now has elbow crutches.

“But he's got a lot better. He says 'there are lots of people worse off than me'.

“He blames no one and never mentions that man.

“But I think if you drink and you get into a car you are in the wrong.

“It's very selfish people who do that.”

A spokesman for Suffolk police said the force was actively trying to reduce the number of people drink driving on Suffolk's roads as part of its road safety campaign.

He said all people pulled over on the roads would be given a new leaflet called 'How to avoid becoming a statistic', which highlights the dangers of offences such as drink and drug driving.

He added: “We don't want people to drink drive, they shouldn't do it, there are no excuses.

“But these figures probably reflect our proactively trying to clamp down on these offences.”

If you know anyone who may be drinking or taking drugs on a regular basis and drives, call the police on 01473 613500 or email via the Tell The Police link on their website at www.suffolk.police.uk . Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Has a drink-driver ruined your life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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