Drink driver tracked by police dog after Lewes crash

Sergeant Graeme McKee with police dog Blyss
Sergeant Graeme McKee with police dog Blyss

A man who was tracked for more than three miles by a police dog after abandoning a crash scene near Lewes has been convicted of drink-driving.

Tyler Thompson, a 20-year-old telephonist, of Marden Close, Brighton, pleaded guilty to the offence when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Thursday, October 20.

He was disqualified from driving for 16 months, fined £275, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Police say he was one of four men who abandoned and ran from a Volkswagen Polo after it collided with signage at Beddingham Roundabout, near Lewes, on Sunday, September 18.

After a search of the area, officers - assisted by Belgian Shepherd police dog Blyss - found the men on the A26 at Tarring Neville.

The seven-year-old police dog had tracked the scent of the quartet for three miles across the South Downs – ignoring distractions such as traffic and livestock – where they were detained by a team of eagle-eyes officers who searched the road ahead of their Sussex Police colleagues.

Thompson was arrested at the scene and charged with driving with 45mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.

Blyss' handler Sergeant Graeme McKee said: "Drink-driving is an offence that can devastate people's lives, and I'm really pleased that Blyss could play an important role in securing this conviction.

"We tracked this suspect for nearly three miles, over hill and dale, through fields of sheep and crossing the South Downs Way, where he was detained by other officers who had travelled ahead. This is an excellent example of police working together to get the job done.

"I hope this will serve as a reminder of the dangers of drink and drug-driving, and what an excellent job our police dogs do in helping to keep the people of Sussex and Surrey safe.”

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