A woman has received a suspended prison sentence, after she was found to be almost five times the drink-drive limit.

On the evening of Friday 2 April, police received a call from a member of the public concerned by the manner of driving of a blue Seat in the Eastbourne area. The driver was reported to have collided with a number of bollards.

A registration number was provided, which enabled officers to quickly locate the vehicle, and they signalled for it to stop in St Anthony’s Avenue.

The driver was identified as Sarah Walsh, 45, a care worker, of Cross Street, Herne Bay, Kent.

She failed a breath test, and was subsequently charged with driving with 170mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in her system – almost five times the legal limit of 35mcg.

Walsh pleaded guilty to the offence, and at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 16 June, she was sentenced to 14 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. She was also disqualified from driving for 36 months, and required to pay a £128 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Sergeant Vicki Rees, of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Thanks to a member of the public, we were able to locate and stop the driver, and prevent her from potentially causing serious injury – or worse – to herself or someone else.

“This case demonstrates that we will respond to reports of drink or drug-drivers as we strive to keep everyone safe on our roads, and take robust action against offenders who put lives at risk.”

Police in Surrey and Sussex are currently running a month-long campaign dedicated to tackling drink and drug-driving – this is in addition to our routine roads policing duties 365 days a year.

Anyone arrested during the campaign and convicted of offences can expect to be identified on our website and social media channels. This is aimed to act as a deterrent and to hold offenders accountable for their actions.

The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include the following:

  • 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;
  • You could also kill or seriously injure yourself or someone else.

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.