Lancashire

Police warn motorists of drink-driving consequences

Pc Sam Markland
Image caption Pc Markland has seen a range of emotions while doing his job

A Lancashire police officer whose job is to break the news to relatives when a loved one has been killed on the roads, is appealing to drivers not to drink and drive.

Family liasion officer Pc Sam Markland says using a different form of transport to get to work is important for anyone who has been drinking the night before.

"Get to work some other way, and that way you won't wreck your life, and you won't wreck somebody else's," he said.

"Drink-driving causes utter devastation."

For the last four years Pc Markland has been one of the officers who visits homes on a daily basis to deliver bad news.

He is often the first person to contact the families of victims.

Range of emotions

"The first thing I will do is to go to the scene of the accident," he said. "In some cases I can be one of the first officers there."

He says this aspect is important as the family always want to know what happened.

"Unless you've got that information first-hand, you can't give them the answers. I will only tell the families what I know to be a fact."

Pc Markland has seen a range of emotions while doing his job from "total devastation and shock and raw emotion, to wanting revenge and anger".

He added: "Every single situation if different, but they all have the same devastating consequences for the family.

"None of these road deaths were expected. They were sudden, huge shocks."

Pc Markland said the reality of fatal collisions is often worse than the most intense television dramatisations.

"Reality is normally far more punchy, that's something families find very hard to accept.

"Until you've seen it and you've felt it, that one stupid decision to drive your car - I can only say to you don't do it."

Lancashire Police's summer drink drive campaign is running throughout the month of June.

In 2010 there were 46 fatal collisions in Lancashire, with eight involving drink or drugs.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites