Tough penalties for drink driving. Sussex Police warn

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Motorists face being banned from driving and could face a prison sentence if they are caught drink driving - consequences that could change a life, say Sussex Police.

One man has already been banned from driving during this campaign for being over the limit when he was caught drink driving last Monday.

Pierre Van Ryneveld, a 40-year-old pilot, was stopped on Broad Street, Cuckfield at 10.45pm on June 10 and blew 85mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. He appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on June 11 and was disqualified from driving for 20 months, fined £500 plus £85 court costs and £50 victim surcharge.

He is not the only driver to have been arrested, so far during the campaign this June 82 drivers have failed breath tests.

Since the beginning of June, Sussex Police has been conducting roadside breath tests, cracking down on those individuals who have taken to the roads while over the legal alcohol limit.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas said:”The majority of motorists make the decision to drive or to drink as they recognise the perils of mixing the two, however every year, there’s always a small minority who ignore the warning and disregard the law and get behind the wheel or onto a bike anyway.

“However since 2005 the number of people involved in these collisions has dropped from 133 to 49 in 2012, which shows people are making the right choice.

“Mixing alcohol and driving is dangerous and ignorance of the legal limit is no excuse.

“We urge everyone to think about when they’re next driving and remember you can still be over the limit the following morning.

“If you know that you have to drive in the next few hours, it’s safest to avoid drinking alcohol at all.

“If you’ve got a journey planned for the following morning, give your body enough time to get rid of any alcohol from the previous evening before you get behind the wheel.”

During the Christmas drink drive campaign, four people have been convicted of drink driving and now have all been banned from driving.

Jodie Williames, 32, a painter from Mill Lane, Trotton, was stopped on Mill Lane in Trotton on December 19.

He was charged with blowing a reading of 144mg of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath and disqualified from driving for 48 months, given 16 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for two years, and given fined £85 costs and £80 victim surcharge.

Aleksander Kubiak, 51, from Joyce Close, Littlehampton, was arrested on Storrington Road, Storrington, on Christmas Eve.

He was disqualified for 24 months, given a £230 fine, and must pay £40 costs and £23 victim surcharge for having 100mg of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

John Wolff, 63, retired, from Stonehouse Drive, St Leonards, was involved in a collision on his own road and arrested.

He was charged with blowing a reading of 116mg of alcohol in 100 millilitres if breath and was disqualified from driving for 24 months and given £250 fine, £85 court costs and £25 victim surcharge.

Martin MacKevitt, 38, a refuse worker from Derwent Road in Tonbridge, Kent, was arrested in White Rock, Hastings, and charged with having 94mg of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

He was disqualified for 20 months, given a £200 fine, plus £85 costs and £20 victim surcharge.

Chief Inspector Nicholas said: “If you are caught drink driving, you will be disqualified from driving and be given a significant fine.

“This could have a huge effect on your life, putting pressure on your job and your home life.

“A moment of not stopping to think could have a lifetime effect on you.”

Sussex Police, and their colleagues in the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, are continuing to ask the community to report anyone suspected of planning to drive after drinking either by calling 101 or texting 65999 with details of the vehicle, driver and location.

Asda stores across the county, at Brighton marina, Ferring and Crawley, have been getting behind the campaign, placing bottle hangers on alcohol as a reminder about the dangers of drinking and driving.

As part of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership initiative, East Sussex Fire and Rescue road safety officers have been at the marina store today (Monday).