Crashed car will highlight drink driving dangers in East Lancs

Chorley Citizen: The wreck of a car belonging to Daniel Birch The wreck of a car belonging to Daniel Birch

The wreck of a car belonging to a young Chorley man killed on Mothers’ Day two years ago is being shown in public this weekend to highlight the devastating consequences of drinking and driving.

It will be shown at supermarkets in Chorley, Leyland and Bamber Bridge to launch a campaign asking families to play their part in getting the drink driving message over to a new generation of drivers.

Daniel Birch from Coppull was 23 years old when he was killed after crashing his car into a gatepost at 4am on the way home from a night out. He was almost three times over the legal drink drive limit.

His parents Helen and Stuart are working with Wasted Lives, the long running local campaign to reduce deaths and injuries among young drivers, to highlight that it only takes one bad decision to devastate the lives of everyone you know.

Daniel's mum, Helen Birch, said: "As parents we tend to stop asking so many questions once our children are past their 'troubled teens'. Daniel was beyond the age at which we thought he'd make such a bad mistake as to drink and drive after a night out.

"Our experience shows that it's always worth checking with your son or daughter that they have made alternative arrangements to get home or have somewhere to stay if they're out drinking.

"Many young people naturally think they can take the risk and get away with it once, but that's only because they haven't really thought through the potential consequences not just for them but everyone they know and love.

"We hope showing Daniel's car as part of the Almost Home campaign will encourage families to talk about drinking and driving and help more young people to make the right decision not to drink and drive."

Sgt John Jennings-Wharton of Lancashire Constabulary’s Road Policing Unit said: "Any amount of alcohol can impair your ability to drive. When you get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, you’re not only putting your own life at risk, but the lives of those around you as well.

"Drink-driving can have devastating effects on families, as the loss of one person will be felt by many others.

"If you’re planning on drinking alcohol, make alternative arrangements to get home. Taxis run 24 hours a days, and there are also night bus services across the county to make sure you get home safely.

"We would encourage families to keep a close eye on their young drivers as they are at more risk than any other age group to be involved in car crashes.

"We would like to thank Daniel’s family who, after going through what they have, can still find the strength to stand up and fully support this campaign."

The Daniel Birch: Almost Home campaign is part of the Wasted Lives Young Driver Education Programme run in partnership by Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire Constabulary.

The campaign will be visiting Sainsbury's Bamber Bridge on Friday, March 14 from 9am – 6pm, Tesco Chorley on Saturday, March 15, 10pm - 6pm and Tesco Leyland on Sunday, March 16, 10.30 - 4pm.

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