East Sussex drink-drivers convicted in Christmas crackdown

Drugs warning
Drugs warning

Drivers from Lewes, RIngmer, Newhaven and Brighton are among those who have been convicted of drink-driving as part of Sussex Police's annual Christmas crackdown.

Police have increased patrols in the county as part of their annual Christmas crackdown, which runs from 1 December to 1 January.

As of Thursday (21 December), a total of 141 people were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving.

Of these, 60 have been charged and a further 15 already convicted.

Among those convicted is Rebecca Ancell, 34, unemployed, of Heath Hill Avenue, Brighton, who was arrested in Heath Hill Avenue, Brighton, on Friday. December 1, and charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis and being drunk in charge of a child under seven-years-old, police said.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, December 21, she was disqualified from driving for 18 months and sentenced to an 18-month community order, according to police.

She was also ordered to pay a £70 fine, £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.

David Mercer, 71, retired, of Rushey Close, Ringmer, was arrested in Anchor Field, Ringmer, on Saturday, December 2, and charged with driving with 51mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, driving with no licence and driving with no insurance, police said.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, December 20, he was disqualified from driving for 12 months, confirmed police.

He was also ordered to pay a £170 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Neil Stoner, 32, unemployed, of Old Malling Way, Lewes, was arrested in Ditchling Road, Brighton, on Sunday, December 3, and charged with driving with 65mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, confirmed police.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, December 21, he was disqualified from driving for 17 months, police said.

He was also ordered to pay a £923 fine, £85 costs and a £92 victim surcharge.

Nikolay Kostadinov, 51, a HGV driver, of no fixed address, was arrested in Railway Approach, Newhaven, on Sunday, December 3, and charged with driving with 81mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, police said.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 4 December, he was disqualified from driving for 20 months, according to police.

He was also ordered to pay a £440 fine, £85 costs and a £44 victim surcharge.

Gregory Keartland, 32, a clerical assistant, of Wilbury Road, Hove, was arrested in Hillside, Southwick, on Sunday, December 3, and charged with driving with 59mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, said police.

At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on 19 December, he was disqualified from driving for 36 months, confirmed police.

He was also ordered to pay a £925 fine, £85 costs and a £93 victim surcharge.

Superintendent Chris Moon, head of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “We’re appalled by the number of people arrested, charged and convicted of drink or drug-driving already this month.

"Anyone who is prepared to show a blatant disregard for the law should be prepared to face the consequences.

“First-time offenders often express their remorse and regret, and vow to never make the same mistake again.

"However, they shouldn’t be making this mistake in the first place.

"The dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs are well documented, as are the consequences.

"You could lose your job, your licence – or your life.

“Our priority is to keep people safe on our roads and our message is clear – drink and drug-driving will not be tolerated, and offenders will be dealt with robustly.”

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.

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