Killer Drink Drivers Should be Charged with Manslaughter
Nine in 10 Brits believe motorists who kill while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs should be charged with manslaughter, a survey has revealed.
Road safety charity Brake interviewed 1,000 people as part of the study, with 91 per cent of respondents agreeing a manslaughter charge was suitable for drivers who kill while under the influence.
The survey also revealed widespread support for increasing the severity of sentences for killer drivers, with 66 per cent of respondents saying they should be jailed for a minimum of 10 years.
Additionally, nearly 85 per cent of respondents believe those who kill while driving illegally should be charged with dangerous driving, as opposed to careless driving.
The survey was conducted to mark the launch of Brake’s ‘Roads to Justice’ campaign, which is being backed by a number of bereaved families who feel justice has not been served after their loved ones were killed by dangerous drivers.
Ian and Dawn Brown-Lartey are members of one such family. Their son Joseph was killed after a speeding driver ran a red light at more than 80 miles per hour, splitting Joseph’s car in two in the collision.
The Brown-Larteys said: “We will never get over the loss of our beautiful son Joseph, who had his whole life ahead of him. “Hearing that his killer will serve half of a six-year sentence was a further slap in the face to us and our family. The law needs to change so that sentences for causing death by dangerous driving reflect the crime.”
Gary Rae, director of communications for Brake, added: “There are too many families, like the Brown-Larteys, who suffer the double trauma of losing a loved one in a sudden and violent way, and then witness the judicial system turning its back on them.
“That’s why we are launching our Roads to Justice campaign, which calls on government to get tough on criminal drivers who kill or seriously injure others. Drivers who kill while taking illegal risks are too often labelled ‘careless’ in the eyes of the law, and then given insultingly low sentences when their actions can only be described as dangerous and destructive.”
Joseph’s car will be displayed outside the House of Commons today, in a bid to raise awareness for the Roads to Justice campaign.