BOTH Newquay Police and a national campaign group against drink-driving have stressed the seriousness of the offence, saying it costs lives.
They were speaking after it emerged that Karen Ross, head teacher at the town's Treviglas Community College, had pleaded guilty to drinking and driving six weeks ago.
The school has so far refused to comment on her conviction and the chairman of the governors implied in an e-mail to colleagues that the matter may not be considered serious enough for discussion.
Carole Whittingham, a spokeswoman for the Campaign Against Drinking and Driving, said a pillar of the community, such as a head teacher, should be a role model to youngsters.
She said: "My son was killed by a drink-driver, so I know first-hand the impact this can have.
"We would expect someone who holds such a high standing in the community to show a good example to those around, particularly young people and children who are very impressionable.
"It's about time people realised it's not acceptable to drink and drive."
Newquay's acting inspector James Honeywill said that targeting drink-drivers was a top priority for the police.
He said: "Drink-driving is a very serious offence.
"The number of accidents in which people are killed or seriously injured because of this has made it a force priority and we work hard to reduce it.
"We actively target drink-drivers and would encourage anyone who believes someone to be drink-driving to contact the police.
"We advise that if you are driving, don't consume any alcohol whatsoever."