Don't drink and drive appeal

(Wednesday, December 22) WE are supporting a new drink-drive campaign, launched by our sister paper The Bucks Herald, urging motorists to avoid alcohol completely if they are driving.

The appeal has been backed by a Thame woman whose boyfriend died in an accident involving a convicted drink-driver.

Clare Stanton, 28, of Churchill Crescent, lost her boyfriend Ryan Dormer, of Oakley, after a crash last year.

He was a pasenger in a car driven by Daniel Palanca, which collided with another car driven by Phillip Edwards on the A418 on July 10 last year. Mr Edwards also died in the crash.

Palanca, of Wellington Street, Thame, was convicted of dangerous driving and had been drinking prior to the accident. He is now serving seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Miss Stanton said she was delighted to support the campaign in a bid to do something positive after Ryan's death.

She said that life has not been the same without Ryan, whom she had been going out with for almost four years.

"It is probably a strange thing to say but you do not realise the damage that drink-driving does until it happens to you. Many lives are affected by drink-driving and so many lives were ruined that day," she said.

Miss Stanton urged drivers to be more considerate and to think seriously about the gravity of their actions if driving while over the legal limit.

"It is not just about the law and the drink-driver. The drink-driver goes to prison and has to live with it but it is the family and friends of the deceased who get the life sentence," she said.

The law is something that Miss Stanton thinks should also be changed.

"Ideally there should be a zero tolerance on drink-driving. People think they are safe when they are not at all. If you were not allowed even one then there would be no risk. Alcohol affects people in different ways so it is best to not drink at all if you plan to drive."

And Miss Stanton said she was honoured to support a campaign in memory of Ryan.

She added: "There is only one real message, do not drink and drive. You will ruin so many lives just for that pint and it is never worth it."