Steyning woman was four times over drink-drive limit after Small Dole hit and run

A Steyning woman who hit a cyclist in her car while more than four times over the drink-drive limit has been convicted.

According to Sussex Police, 42-year-old Sonal Shah, a designer of Penlands Vale, Steyning, struck her victim from behind on the A2037 at Small Dole on November 13.

Leaving the 44-year-old cyclist on the ground with multiple injuries, Shah did not stop at the scene in her silver Land Rover Freelander.

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With help from witnesses, she was located shortly afterwards and failed a roadside breath test.


She was arrested and charged with driving with 153mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in her system – the legal limit is 35mcg – and failing to stop after a road traffic collision.

Her victim sustained multiple injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment. She was discharged the next day.

Shah pleaded guilty to both offences, and at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on February 22, she was sentenced to 17 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months. She was also disqualified from driving for five years, and must complete 120 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months.

Investigating officer, PC Ant Baker, of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “We hope this sentencing serves as a warning to anyone who thinks about driving under the influence of drink or drugs. It is a serious offence with serious consequences and we will actively target those road users who choose to put others at risk.”

Drink and drug-driving is one of the five most common causes of fatal and serious injury collisions on our roads, along with speeding, mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt and careless driving.

Sussex Police will continue to work with partners, providing education and enforcement 365 days a year, in a bid to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads, and to crack down on offenders.

If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:

- Killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else;

- 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 costs;

- 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.

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