Plea to partygoers: ‘A drink-driver killed my girlfriend...don’t do it’

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire:, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire:, on Twitter @standardboston

A man whose girlfriend was killed in a collision with a drink-driver has issued a heartfelt plea to Christmas party-goers not to get behind the wheel after having alcohol.

Boston man Darien Long’s girlfriend Valentina Planciunene who was killed by a drink-driver on Valentines Day in 2011.

The man behind the wheel of the car that hit her, Intars Pless, who, after drinking all day, evening and night, drove from Lincoln to Boston via the Boardsides.

He hit Valentina, propelling her into an oncoming vehicle, and fled the scene. Pless is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence for causing her death.

Mr Long is now helping the police get out a strong message against the dangers of drink-driving – with the force keen to try to stop festive revellers ‘taking a chance’ and getting behind the wheel.

Mr Long said: “The loss of loved one never leaves you, the sense of anger and pain is always with you. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving - this has a devastating effect for the family left behind.

“Causing death or injury is something that will stay with you forever, even after you are released from prison.”

Nationally, 25 per cent of all road deaths involves the driver being under the influence of alcohol and 2011 saw the first increase in drink drive collisions since 2002.

A force spokesman said the rise was ‘alarming’ and vowed to do all they could to tackle the ‘blight’.

Officers have visited bars, public houses and clubs in the county to distribute beer mats and posters with our message.

They will also target vehicles with leaflets that remind drivers of the consequences of drink driving, the penalties and the futility of trying to measure their own limit.

The primary target will be 17 to 29-year-olds and officers also say that more drivers prove positive in the hours between midnight and midday - meaning they may still be over the limit following a night out.

Professor Robert Forrest, HM Coroner for South Lincolnshire and past Professor of Forensic Toxicology, said: “Mixing alcohol with driving is never a good idea at Christmas or any other time of the year. By doing it you increase the chance that you will get to meet me, but you won’t be shaking me warmly by the hand.

“Drinking even very small amounts of alcohol along with many prescribed medicines and some medicines you can buy over the counter can be dangerous. Alcohol will multiply the adverse effects that some medicines have on your ability to drive safely.

“Look at the label on your medicine and the leaflet in the package. If you see a phrase such as ‘Warning: this medicine may make you sleepy’, it is not safe to drink even a small amount of alcohol whilst you are taking it before you drive.”