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Devastated mother wants zero tolerance UK drink-drive limit.

Byline: Cathy Owen Reporter cathy.owen@walesonline.co.uk

DEVASTATED mother Angela Coen has called for a change in the drink-driving law a year after the death of her 25-year-old son.

She said she would like it to be an offence to drive with any alcohol in your system after the tragedy which rocked her family.

Son Arran, who had just qualified as a personal trainer the day before, was just over the drink-drive limit when his car left the M4 and crashed in November last year.

His car left the eastbound carriageway of the M4 between Ynysforgan and Birchgrove.

The former Gowerton School pupil had moved back to South Wales after living in Brighton for four years.

Investigators found he had 102 milligrammes of alcohol in his blood at the time, the legal limit being 80.

Mrs Coen, from Fforestfach, Swansea, said her son had made a mistake driving that day.

"His car was 16 years old and couldn't have gone quicker than 70mph, which is the speed limit, yet it was going fast enough to kill him," she told the Swansea Evening Post. "It was minus two degrees on my car. I had dropped him off 20 minutes before. The chances are the car skidded on ice around the bend. I know that Arran was less than a half lager over the limit. He was not intoxicated. Arran was slightly over the limit, but was it worth the risk of him driving? "Arran had never been in trouble before. He loved life. He made one mistake that night."

The family have had to put up with some comments on social media since the inquest.

"Some people have said he was a rogue who was smashed out of his brain," said Mrs Coen. "That was not the boy he was.

"I want to give Arran some of his dignity back. He was a good boy. Arran was such a loved person. I want to campaign about drink-driving, but I want to do it in a way so as to give him a bit of his dignity back.

'He loved life, loved people, and loved his friends' Tributes paid to road crash victim Arran Coen Mrs Coen said she would be in favour of a zero tolerance approach to drinkdriving.

"Make it nil," she said. "Don't drink and drive at all. Zero. You have half a pint and you are done."

The inquest heard that a dumbbell found in the car may have contributed to his head injury.

Mr Coen's sister Nicola Windle urged people not to pack shopping and other items in the back of their car, saying that an item like a tin of baked beans could kill you if you had to make an emergency stop and it hit you on the back of the head.

"This was a freak accident," she said. Her mother said: "We know that Arran was probably hit by a dumbbell. How many students move home and pack the car up with stuff?" The family are now moving forward by helping with an ambition he never got to realise. They are working on setting up a clothing company in his name, one in which he planned on using his Christian names in the title, Arran Francis Designs, for fitness and general clothing.

"It will help us go forward with something positive out of something very negative," said Mrs Coen.

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Arran Coen died in a car crash

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 9, 2016
Words:576
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