IT is difficult to escape the hard-hitting and graphic images of the latest campaign warning of the dangers of drink-driving.

They serve as a timely reminder to those who may otherwise be tempted to get behind the wheel of a car when they are in no fit state to do so.

If the campaign is sufficient to persuade just one potential drink-driver to think again, then the cost, running into several millions of pounds, has to be judged a success.

But its success will always be restricted to those people capable of understanding the merits of responsibility.

It will not reach out to the small minority of motorists who persistently ignore the law and the dangers they pose to other innocent people.

Motorists like Allan Jackson, already convicted of two drink-driving charges, who yesterday admitted mowing down three young women while he was three times over the limit.

We realise it is impossible to put a value on the lives of three people, tragically cut short by an act of wilful irresponsibility.

But we agree with the families of the victims who insist that the eight-year jail sentence is too lenient.

And we share their surprise that Jackson faced charges of causing death by dangerous driving rather than manslaughter.

We doubt very much whether an eight-year sentence - which is likely to mean he will only serve four years behind bars - is a sufficient deterrent to stir the conscience of serial drink-drive offenders.

A gentleman and a professional

COLIN Cowdrey was one of the finest English cricketers in an age when the game was in its transition from an amateur to a professional sport. He was able to bridge the divide with ease.

Educated at public school and Oxford, he was a "gentleman" cricketer of the finest pedigree.

But memories of him going out to bat with his broken arm in plaster to save a Test match against the West Indies, or of him being recalled at the age of 42 to face Aussie pacemen Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in their prime were the hallmarks of a true professional.

Colin Cowdrey was able to combine the batting and fielding qualities of a truly great professional, with the values of decency and fair play prevalent in the amateur days.

They are qualities sorely missed in a modern game rocked by allegations of intimidation, betting scandals and match-fixing