Ministers set to look at drink drive sentences

Deadly drivers will face tougher penalties, a minister has suggested, as one Leeds family fights for justice.

Callum Wark

The parents of Callum Wark this week took their battle to the House of Commons after seeing the motorists who killed their 19-year-old son sentenced to just seven years with a likely release date of half that.

The Bulgarian HGV driver was three times over the drink drive limit when he smashed into Callum in march.

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Already the Swillington family have secured the backing of local MP Alec Shelbrooke and put their call for tougher sentences to justice minister Andrew Selous.

The minister said: “Any death on our roads is a tragedy. Road deaths lead to unimaginable pain for the families and relatives of the victims. Such deaths are made worse when they are caused by bad driving under the influence of alcohol and could have been avoided. It is particularly troubling that Callum was only 19 and had his whole life ahead of him.”

The minister added: “We are now actively reviewing the sentencing framework for the range of driving offences.”

He added: “We want to ensure that sentences are consistent, but that the law also ensures that those who kill innocent people, such as Callum Wark, are punished appropriately.”

Callum’s mother Joanne said she was grateful Mr Shelbrooke had brought her son’s story to the Commons, and that it was important the heartfelt example could at least be used to show why the law needs changing.

YEP readers rallied to support Callum’s parents with their bid. On the Facebook page Jo Woodcock said: “It should be manslaughter charges. The driving laws in this country are a joke.”

Dave JC Rickwood said: “Drink drive limit should be zero.”