Brighton woman’s ‘appalling’ drink driving landed her in custody on Christmas Day

Posted On 04 Mar 2015 at 1:45 pm

A woman ended Christmas Day in custody after she was seen driving along the A27 at just 30mph.

Some of those who saw Lorraine Foster called police on Thursday 25 December after seeing her weaving across the dual carriageway and forcing other drivers to swerve to avoid her.

The 49-year-old was travelling westbound on the A27 from the Kingston roundabout at Lewes to Falmer in her yellow Mazda MX5 at about 11.30pm.

One driver was so concerned he put his hazard lights on and followed behind her to alert other motorists until officers from Sussex Police managed to reach her.

They had to help Foster, who was slurring her words and unsteady on her feet, out of the driving seat when they caught up with her in Woodingdean.

When tested she was found to have 94 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of her breath – almost three times the 35 micrograms legal limit.

Foster, of Newells Close, Woodingdean, pleaded guilty to drink driving when she appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Friday 20 February.

She was banned from driving for 24 months, fined £525 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £52 victim surcharge.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas, from the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Foster’s driving was nothing short of appalling.

“Presumably she thought that by going slowly she was driving more safely but, as the other motorists could testify, she almost crashed a number of times even at 30mph.

“She put herself and every other person on the A27 at risk and could have easily caused a serious accident.

“Drink driving is totally unacceptable and I would urge anyone who sees someone who they suspect is over the limit to contact us so we can take action immediately.”

A total of 75 people have so far been convicted after being arrested as part of Operation Dragonfly, Sussex Police’s annual December drink and drug driving crackdown.

Ayoob Atchia was arrested at 12.20am on Monday 8 December in Lewes Road, Brighton, after officers were passed information that the moped rider appeared drunk.

When police arrived, Atchia was at the BP service station at the Vogue Gyratory paying for fuel. Officers saw him stumble from the shop as he walked to his moped.

The 44-year-old said that he had been drinking but refused to be breathalysed and became aggressive when the officers tried to arrest him.

Atchia, of Buckingham Street, Brighton, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen for analysis, driving without insurance and resisting arrest when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 3 February.

He was banned from driving for 36 months, made the subject of a community order and ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge.

Davide Di-Lauro was arrested at 3.35am on Thursday 1 January after he ignored a No Entry sign and drove his Mini down Trafalgar Street in Brighton.

The 28-year-old failed to stop for officers on foot in the road but he later pulled over for a patrol when his details had been circulated across the city.

When questioned, Di-Lauro claimed that he thought the officers were waving at him because he did not have his lights on. He was more than twice the drink-drive limit.

Di-Lauro, of Gordon Road, Brighton, pleaded guilty to drink driving, failing to stop for an officer and driving without a licence when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 12 February.

He was banned from driving for 20 months and ordered to pay a £1,025 fine, £85 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.

They can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

To keep up to date with officers looking for drink drivers, follow #opdragonfly on Twitter.

Anyone who knows someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs is asked to call 999.

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