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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Father backs Suffolk Police drink-drive campaign
Stutton car crash
Police photograph of the crash scene at Manningtree Road, Stutton in 2009

The father of a 24-year-old teacher who was killed by a drunk driver is backing a police awareness campaign.

Sarah Lee and Matthew Anderson both died when their cars collided at Stutton near Ipswich in December 2009.

An inquest heard Mr Anderson had two and a half times the legal level of alcohol in his body.

Sarah's father David Lee said: "If we really want to eradicate drink-driving, we must support the idea that it is socially unacceptable."

Sarah had been setting up an exhibition at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook on 5 December, and left at about lunchtime with her partner Richard.

Her father remembers receiving the news that her Ford Focus had been struck by an Audi 100.

David Lee
David Lee spoke at the launch of the Christmas 2010 drink-drive campaign

"I had a phone call and the caller display told me it was Sarah, so I picked up the phone anticipating that she had finished setting up and she would be her usual enthusiastic self," said Mr Lee.

"It was her partner Richard who spoke to me. He said 'I hate to tell you this, but I'm afraid Sarah has died'.

"The world seemed to stop at that moment. I simply put the phone down because I couldn't cope with the message."

An inquest heard that Mr Anderson, also 24, had been travelling between 60 and 80mph and was on the wrong side of the road.

A verdict of unlawful killing was recorded for the death of Ms Lee, with one of accidental death for Mr Anderson.

Police campaign

The police campaign in December 2009 conducted 1,416 breath tests with 6.7% testing positive.

The legal limit is 35mg alcohol per 100ml breath.

Ch Insp Ady Dawson said: "Sadly a significant number of people still choose to ignore us and end up paying the price with their life or their job.

"David's story will hopefully bring the reality of drink-driving into focus and persuade people to ditch their car keys.

"We will be on patrol with British Transport Police to hammer home our message at railway stations.

"We want to ensure communities know who their menaces to society are."

Sarah Lee
Sarah Lee taught at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook

Collective action

Mr Lee said it was not just one individual who was responsible for the death of his daughter.

"There will have been people who would have known that he was habitually drinking and driving, there will have been people at the time who knew he was likely to get into a car," he said.

"There's a lot of social pressure against people challenging somebody who might have been drinking.

"You might appear to be a killjoy, but there is a lot more joy to be killed if somebody does drink and drive."




SEE ALSO
Victims of crash named by police
06 Dec 09 |  Suffolk

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