Drink-drivers convicted in Christmas crackdown

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Drivers from Worthing, Shoreham and Crawley are among those who have been convicted of drink-driving as part of Sussex Police's annual Christmas crackdown.

Clive Holland, 54, unemployed, of no fixed address, was arrested in George V Avenue, Worthing, on Saturday, December 2, and charged with driving with 62mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, and three counts of making off without payment, said police.

At Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Monday, December 4, he was disqualified from driving for 18 months and sentenced to a 12-month community order, police said.

He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, and pay £85 costs, a £85 victim surcharge and £76.44 compensation.

Mark Mellish, 51, unemployed, of Seldens Way, Worthing, was arrested in Half Moon Lane, Worthing, on Sunday, December 3, and charged with driving with 51mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, said police.

At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, December 19, he was disqualified from driving for 15 months, according to police.

He was also ordered to pay a £120 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Craig Smart, 26, a retail employee, of Hancock Way, Shoreham, was arrested in Riverside Road, Shoreham, on Saturday, December 2, and charged with driving with 76mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, police said.

At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, December 19, he was disqualified from driving for 17 months, according to police.

He was also ordered to pay a £325 fine, £85 costs and a £33 victim surcharge.

Alec Mortimer, 32, a scrap metal dealer, of Black Swan Close, Crawley, was arrested in West Green Drive, Crawley, on Sunday December 3, and charged with driving with 90mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, police said.

At Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Monday, December 18, he was disqualified from driving for 23 months, according to police.

He was also ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work, and pay £85 costs and a £85 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.”

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.