My Drink Driving Put My Dad in a Care Home

CASE STUDY: Greg in Salisbury

“I wasn’t even going particularly fast.” This is an all too familiar comment by people found guilty of drink driving. “It’s not as if I was doing eighty-miles-an-hour in a residential area, or something.”

If you drink and drive whatever speed you travel at you are endangering yourself and others. Innocent people (including children) have lost their lives after being run over by a vehicle travelling at 10 miles-an-hour, or even less.

The consequence of Greg’s drink driving conviction was far-reaching, in a way that was impossible to foresee:

“I never thought that as a result of my drink driving my elderly father would end up in a care home, which was the last thing he wanted and something he’d been desperate to avoid for so long.”

So, how on earth did Greg a 48-year-old mature student enjoying a few pints with his mates result in that?

“In short, I was found guilty of being over the limit drink driving-wise and lost my licence. The knock-on effect was that I was unable to run my own business, fell heavily into debt, and ended up in the bankruptcy court.”

“When Dad asked me to apply for Lasting Power of Attorney for him so that it would be my decision (not the local council’s) as to whether or not he should one day go into a care home, my application to be Dad’s sole Attorney at registering stage was rejected because I was bankrupt. Months later, Social Services here in Salisbury wrote to Dad explaining that he could not be trusted to live independently any longer (for a couple of reasons), and a place had been allocated for him at a care home the other side of town. He hated it, spending most of the time feeling distraught. Dad lasted about a year there before finally passing away. The guilt of not being there for him, of not being accepted as his Attorney when the Lasting Power of Attorney application was made, was enormous. If only I hadn’t drank that fateful night and then got behind the wheel of my car… The last chapter of Dad’s life would have been so different, and we would never have fallen out as we did.”

“The irony of it all (if irony is the right word) is that now I don’t drink at all. An eight-week stay at a Private Alcoholism Rehab Clinic in Wiltshire sorted me out. If only I’d have sought help much earlier, though; if only I’d done that.”

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