A mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver says her death blew “our lives into pieces”.

Claire Danks lost her 22-year-old daughter Lauren after she was hit at over 100mph while coming back from work - and says the tragedy "still haunts us".

Hertfordshire Constabulary is using the incident to highlight the dangers of drink or drug driving at the start of a month-long campaign.

Last year, 2,244 motorists were caught drink or drug driving across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire - the equivalent to one every four hours.

Ms Danks, 47, said the pain she felt over Lauren’s death has been “unimaginable” and “there is nothing that will fix it”.

She said: Being told our daughter was dead was like dropping a bomb and blowing our lives into pieces. 

“We think about Lauren every day and have many wonderful memories. But there are so many more we won’t get to have. We won’t see her get married, she will never have children. We don’t even know what she would look like now.

“What happened that night haunts us every day. Please don’t be the cause of another family’s tragedy. Please don’t drink and drive.”

Watford Observer:

Lauren Danks (photo Herts Police)

Ms Danks, from Soham, is now an ambassador for the Road Victims Trust, a charity that supports victims of fatal and life-changing road collisions across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Police say that irrespective of Covid-19 restrictions, officers will be enforcing the campaign this December while on patrol in the county by carrying out roadside checks.

They will be focusing on busy roads in the mornings, checking that those using the roads are fit to do so and are not over the legal driving limit from drinking the night before.

Sergeant James Thorne, from the tri-force Roads Policing unit, said: "No matter how you choose to celebrate Christmas this year, please do it safely and do not put lives and livelihoods at risk by drink or drug driving. 

“It has been a hard year and we understand some people will want to make the most of the festivities. While 2020 has been different in so many ways, the law remains the same. If we catch you driving under the influence, we will prosecute you.

“Whether you stay at home or go out to celebrate, remember that alcohol takes time to leave your system. Every person is different. It is very difficult to know exactly how much alcohol has been consumed and how long it will take to leave your bloodstream. You may still be over the drink drive limit the following morning.”

Motorists caught drink or drug driving face a 12-month ban, a large fine, and a criminal record.