Some of the first offenders who were arrested in Sussex Police’s crackdown on drink and drug-driving this winter have been convicted in court.

Officers made 257 arrests during the month-long campaign which runs from December 1 to January 1.

The aim is to raise awareness that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the major reasons why people are killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Of the arrests, 58 were made as a result of officers attending reports of road traffic collisions.

In keeping with previous campaigns, the details of those who are convicted in court are to be publicised on the Sussex Police website and social media channels as a deterrent to stop offenders.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, from the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit (RPU) said: “Although most road users are conscientious and law-abiding citizens, there is a stubborn minority of people who refuse to comply with the law. Not only is this putting their own lives at risk, but also other innocent people’s lives as well.

“These people may think that nothing bad is going to happen to them, but in reality even a small amount of alcohol or drugs can impair your judgement and seriously increase the risk of you injuring or killing yourself or someone else.

“Those that have been arrested and convicted as part of this campaign will be publicly named on our website and social media platforms.”

The first was Scott Murray, a 21-year-old golfer of Hare Hill, Addlestone, Surrey, who was stopped when he was involved in a collision on the A27 between Patcham and Hollingbury at 11am on December 2.

He told officers he had six or seven hours of sleep after “a fair bit the night before” but said he “felt fine to drive”.

In custody he gave a positive breath test for 50 microgrammes (mcg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres (ml) of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

He told officers it was a “stupid mistake” and that he felt “embarrassed”.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on December 16 he admitted drink-driving and was disqualified from driving for one year. He was ordered to pay a £200 fine with £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

Jamel Thompson, 24, had been for a night out at the Pryzm nightclub in Brighton when he decided to drive home.

He was stopped by police at 3am on December 4 at the Hangleton Link road after crashing his vehicle at a roundabout, and gave a positive breath test of 67mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Thompson, a student, of Oyster Quay, Shoreham, appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on December 23. He admitted drink-driving and was disqualified from driving for 19 months. The court ordered him to pay a £120 fine, £85 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Philip White, 80, of The Street, Burpham, was arrested after a collision in Durrington Lane, Worthing on December 4.

He gave a positive roadside breath test of 58mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, and was charged with failing to provide a breath sample in custody.

At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on January 4 he admitted failing to provide a sample of breath and was disqualified from driving for one year. The court ordered him to pay a £500 fine with £85 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

Meanwhile Megan Warren, 22, of Beaulieu Gardens, St Leonards, was among the first drivers stopped during the campaign.

An officer saw her vehicle hit a kerb in The Ridge, Hastings, then swerve across the road towards his own police vehicle, blocking the carriageway at 1am on December 1.

The officer noted Warren, a nurse, was “calm but giggly” and smelled of alcohol. In custody she gave a breath test for 76mcg of alcohol per 100 ml of breath.

Warren appeared before Hastings Magistrates’ Court on January 5 where she admitted drink-driving and was disqualified from driving for 17 months. She was ordered to pay a £350 fine, £85 costs and a £35 victim surcharge.

Richard Davis, 19, a labourer, of Scutes Close, Hastings, also admitted drink-driving when he appeared at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on January 5.

Officers on Hastings seafront saw his vehicle turn into Robertson Street without headlights on at 3.15am on December 4.

He apologised to officers for his driving and told them he had pints of beer earlier in the evening, and only wanted to move his car to prevent getting a parking ticket.

In custody he gave a breath sample of 54mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

In court he was disqualified from driving for one year and was fined £300, with £85 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Klaus Lindemann, 57, a motor mechanic, of Eley Drive, Rottingdean, was stopped by officers in Falmer Road, Rottingdean at 7pm on December 6.

Officers noted he smelt of alcohol and gave a positive breath test in custody for 68mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on January 5 he admitted drink-driving and was fined £50. He was disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to complete seven rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) sessions.

Finally, Artur Spiliauskas, 30, unemployed, of Mauveine Gardens, Hounslow, was stopped in St Georges Road, Brighton on December 12 at 11am.

He was found in his vehicle asleep with the key in the ignition and a bottle of alcohol on his lap. He tested positive for 110mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on January 6, he admitted being drunk in charge of a vehicle and was disqualified from driving for five months. He must also pay a £400 fine with £85 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.

The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include:

  • 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.

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