Top prosecutor outlines costly consequences of alcohol abuse


Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "The majority of drinkers drink responsibly and do not engage in criminal behaviour. But for those who do, it's an unfortunate but inescapable fact that alcohol and crime can go hand in hand.

"At the CPS, we know only too well the catastrophic consequences to victims that can be caused, for example, by drink driving. Over the years, we have seen many tragic cases in Yorkshire and Humberside where drink driving has led to a death or really serious injury. The impact on victims and their families lasts a lifetime and is always devastating.

"The relationship between alcohol and other types of crime such as domestic violence, assault, sexual assault, murder and manslaughter is also clear. In over 20 years as a prosecutor, I have, sadly,  heard enough to know that alcohol is very often a factor in many of the cases we put before the courts.

"Nobody wants to see another shattered life or family ripped apart. Drinking to excess could lead to a criminal conviction, with all the emotional and practical costs that entails.

"Don't let alcohol and crime go hand-in-hand in your life. It could cost a life and wreck your own."

Stephen Meara-Blount is a volunteer with the road safety charity BRAKE who suffered appalling injuries in 2006 in an accident in Hull involving a 19 year old drink driver. His brother, Tony, was killed and his brother-in-law, Mike, was injured.

Stephen said: "The three of us were only feet away from the kerb when the car hit us. Tony died instantly. I died twice but was brought back. I sustained multiple serious fractures and endured nine operations. I cannot walk now without the aid of crutches. For longer distances, I use my wheelchair. I suffer from ongoing chronic conditions now, which doctors tell me are a result of my injuries.

"I have to learn to live with it. There is no other choice. The driver took my brother's life and destroyed mine. Accidents make the news for a few weeks, but the costs and consequences will remain with me and my family forever. The accident is as vivid to me now as it was on the first day after it happened.

"To anyone contemplating getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, I would agree with what Martin Goldman has said. I would say to them to take a moment. Sit and think Is it worth it? Put yourself in my shoes, or imagine that your loved one has been killed or seriously injured. Don't do it. Just don't do it. Don't let alcohol wreck lives."