A heartbroken mother’s plea to stop people drink driving during the Euros

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“My son is never ever coming home” those are the words of a heartbroken mother whose son was killed by a drink driver.  

Claire Chapman, along with her daughter Lola, is sharing Harry’s story to raise awareness about the devastating impact of drink driving and encourage people not to get behind the wheel. 

Harry Chapman was two weeks away from celebrating his 21st birthday when he was killed by a drink driver, who was more than twice the legal limit and travelling at 97mph in a 30 zone along the Aldridge Road in Streetly. 

Sharing her story with raw emotion, Claire hopes to change behaviour and prevent other families from enduring the same heartbreak.

Harry’s dreams of exploring the world and building a future with his family were tragically cut short. Lola lost not just a brother, but her best friend that day.

“My son’s life was taken for the cost of a taxi.” Claire says, the pain and anger raw in her voice when referring to the driver responsible for killing Harry.  

The loss remains an open wound. Every morning, she opens Harry’s curtains, a constant reminder of the life stolen from him.

Harry was full of life and had big plans for the future. Claire describes the heartbreaking goodbyes in the hospital room. It’s a scene no parent should ever have to face.

“I talked to him and I gave him his last kiss. It was a goodbye that was never meant to happen.” she recounts, her words heavy with the weight of loss.

Harry had been bowling with his sister and making plans to celebrate his 21st birthday with his best friend on the night of the crash on 7 October 2022.

After dropping his friend home, his car was hit by the drink driver who was travelling on the wrong side of the road.

The drink driver was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison.

If you’re stopped and fail a breathalyser test for alcohol or a DrugWipe test for illegal substances, you will face severe consequences.

A drink or drug driving conviction can come with a hefty fine, a driving ban that could last for months, and even a criminal record. These penalties can have a significant impact on your finances, employment opportunities, and future travel plans. 

Celebrate responsibly, your actions can save lives

Harry’s death was preventable. A simple act like taking the keys away from the driver responsible could have saved him.

If you’re heading down the pub to watch the Euros, be the friend who looks out for others. If someone’s had too much to drink, stop them from getting behind the wheel. 

Plan a safe ride home – book a taxi, designate a driver or stop over at a friend’s house. 

Alcohol significantly reduces reaction time, making it harder to react quickly to unexpected situations on the road. Concentration and vision are also impaired, making it difficult to see clearly and focus on the task of driving. This combination of factors drastically increases the risk of serious and fatal collisions. 

Claire says Harry would be proud of her and Lola for being part of the drink drive awareness campaign. “You shouldn’t have to be doing this, Mum.” He wouldn’t have wanted anyone to go through what their family did.

By planning ahead and making responsible choices, you can enjoy your night out without putting yourself and others at risk. Remember, a few minutes of planning can save lives and prevent a lifetime of regret.  

Think of Harry. Don’t drink and drive. 

A heartbroken mother’s plea to stop people drink driving during the Euros can be seen here