Newhaven student and builder arrested in summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers

Martin Leonard was arrested in Haywards Heath on June 28
Martin Leonard was arrested in Haywards Heath on June 28

An 18-year-old Newhaven student and a 51-year-old builder are among 83 motorists arrested during a summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.

The campaign, to raise awareness of the dangers of drink and drug-driving, ran from June 24, to July 7.

Police said Joseph Still, 18, a student, of Thompson Road, Newhaven, was arrested on the A259 at Seaford on June 27, and was charged with driving with 58mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on July 11, he was disqualified from driving for 12 months, said police.

He was also ordered to pay a £113 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Simon Jopson, 51, a builder, of no fixed address, was arrested in High Street, Crowborough, on June 30, police said, and was charged with driving with 126mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system and driving with no insurance.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on July 17, he was disqualified from driving for 30 months and sentenced to a 12-month community order, requiring him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge, said police.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Roads Policing Unit for Surrey Police and Sussex Police, said: “It is hugely disappointing that so many people still make the conscious decision to drive with drink or drugs in their system.

“We run dedicated campaigns at peak times of the year – during summer and over Christmas – to provide education and enforcement, and this is in addition to routine roads policing 365 days a year.

“Driving while over the specified limit for drink or drugs is a serious offence which carries significant risks – it is one of the four most common causes of fatal and serious injury collisions on our roads.

“Every year we see people’s lives being destroyed by drink and drug-drivers. And it’s not just those unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision – it also affects the offender themselves, with consequences including a criminal record, a fine or jail term, increased car insurance, potential job loss and trouble travelling to some countries.

“In an ideal world, no one would commit any offences and we wouldn’t have to make any arrests. But we have a duty to keep people on our roads as safe as possible, and anyone who compromises this will be dealt with robustly.

“I cannot stress enough that the risk is real, and if you drive under the influence of drink or drugs, your next journey could be your last.”

Surrey Police and Sussex Police run a dedicated campaign every summer and Christmas when social occasions are typically at their peak.

Details of people convicted as part of the campaign will be published on the Sussex Police website.

Motorists prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs face

• A minimum 12 month ban;

• An unlimited fine;

• A possible prison sentence;

• A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;

• An increase in your car insurance;

• Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website.

They can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.

If people know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.