The anti-drink/drug drive police initiative Operation Holly is underway across the Isle of Wight and we are being told ‘It’s Not Worth the Risk’ this Christmas and New Year.
Helping spread the annual message is the dad of 10-year-old Islander Evey Staley, who was killed in 2012 when an impaired driver crashed into the car she was in.
Neal Staley and Evey’s mum also suffered life-threatening injuries and Neal says they are still dealing with the physical and emotional consequences of what happened,
“The injuries that we suffered are ongoing which is a daily reminder of what we’ve lost.
“Not a day goes by when we don’t think of Evey and the way that she died. Devastating then and devastating now.
“There’s a saying, “time heals.” It doesn’t. We have to find a reason every single day to get out of bed and we are reminded every single day of our loss.”
In 2013, the motorist was handed a 10-year-jail term and in 2015 he had an appeal against his sentence thrown out.
Until the first of January, officers will be carrying out breath tests, drug tests and field impairment tests at every opportunity.
Hampshire Constabulary says most drink driving offences happen between 7pm and 7am – or the morning after.
Neal’s feelings about those who get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs are clear,
“I think they’re appalling. They have no respect for other people at all to put others’ lives on the line and members of their own family. They don’t know who’s down the street. They could end up killing one of their own.
“Their actions have a continuing impact on the person they kill, but also the far reaching family and friends.”