‘Erratic’ drink-driver caught more than four times the limit given suspended sentence

Anthony Coppin, 59, has been given a suspended sentence
Anthony Coppin, 59, has been given a suspended sentence

A drink-driver who was caught driving ‘eratically’ and more than four times the limit near Worthing has been given a suspended sentence, police have said.

At about 5.15pm on Tuesday (August 1), police were called concerning the driver of a green Toyota Previa suspected to be under the influence of alcohol at Wick Parade, in Wick.

Officers located the car on the nearby A259 eastbound, and noticed it was being driven ‘erratically’.

The Toyota was then forced to slow down by traffic queuing at the Yeoman Roundabout, in Durrington, at which point police moved across its path and stopped it.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Officers approached the driver’s open window and noticed an open can of Kestrel lager in the drinks holder on the dashboard.

“The driver was identified as Anthony Coppin, 59, a deliveryman, of Northbrook Close, Broadwater.

“He smelt strongly of alcohol, his eyes were glazed, and his speech was slow and slurred, so he was asked to step out of the vehicle and was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

“He was escorted to custody and charged with driving with 156mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system. The legal limit is 35mcg.”

Coppin pleaded guilty to the offence at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (August 2), where he was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, said police.

He was also disqualified from driving for 36 months, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

PC Pete De Silvo, of the Arundel Roads Policing Unit, said: “Coppin’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence he committed.

“The danger he posed to himself and to other road users was clearly demonstrated in his erratic driving – he swerved across both lanes of the dual carriageway, clipped a kerb and narrowly avoided colliding with another car before we stopped him.

“It’s fortunate we caught up with Coppin when we did, and I’d like to thank the members of the public who reported him to us. Our roads in Sussex will be safer without him.”

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.

They can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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

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