A law change is not culture change

The Herald reports:

Amy-Rose Allen was a beauty show contestant with a not-so-hidden – and ultimately fatal – secret.

The 22-year-old alcoholic fell victim to what her parents described yesterday as New Zealand’s “widely accepted” binge-drinking culture.

Three months ago, her life support was switched off after she was partially flung from the car she was driving drunk in a crash south of Morrinsville. …

Ms Allen’s grieving mother and stepfather, Catherine and John Peary, yesterday drove to Auckland from their Hamilton home to add their voices to the hundreds who gathered in three anti- marches that merged at Manukau Square.

Mrs Peary said her daughter had been convicted for drink-driving three times and was before the courts for a fourth offence when she died.

The family will never know if any law changes might have saved her life, but do not want any other families to be left asking such questions.

Mr Peary said one of the main problems he could see was that alcohol was so accessible now.

The Pearys have my sympathy at the loss of their daughter, and in those circumstances, one would want to support any efforts to try and prevent other parents losing their kids so tragically.

But I have real doubts that a law change would have prevented what happened. Amy-Rose had already shown a total disregard for the law – she was on her fourth drink driving charge – which indicates she had probably driven drunk several hundred times – despite it being against the law.

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