Drink driver crashes in Brighton days after passing his test

Posted On 15 Jul 2015 at 3:43 pm

A 27-year-old crashed his car into queueing traffic in Brighton less than a week after passing his test as he drove home drunk.

Lee Dawson had been on a night out in Brighton but after losing contact with a friend he got behind the wheel.

He smashed his Vauxhall Astra into two vehicles waiting at the lights at New England Street at 11.45pm on Wednesday 17 June.

He had 129 millilitres of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his breath – almost four times the legal drink drive limit.

Dawson, of Hearsay Gardens, Camberley, Surrey, pleaded guilty to drink driving when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 2 July.

He was banned from driving for 30 months and given a 12-week suspended prison sentence. He was also ordered to do 200 hours of community service and told to pay £235 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas, of Sussex and Surrey roads policing unit, said: “Taking and passing your driving test can be expensive and insuring your first car is also not cheap.

“But Lee Dawson’s recklessness in deciding to drive home drunk meant he has thrown away his licence less than a week after he got it.

“Fortunately neither he nor any of the people in the cars that he hit were seriously hurt but they could have been.

“The breathalyser reading shows that he was totally unfit to drive. It was just fortunate that when he was driving through the city centre he did not hit someone before he crashed.”

Another driver, Joseph Hendricks, 46, was arrested at 1.20pm on Sunday 21 June after officers stopped his Peugeot Partner van in Southwick Street, Southwick, because he was speeding.

He had 90 millilitres of alcohol per 100 millilitres of alcohol in his breath – more than twice the drink drive legal limit.

Hendricks, of Shelldale Road, Portslade, pleaded guilty to drink driving when he appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 7 July.

He was banned from driving for 22 months, fined £400 and ordered to pay £235 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.

Sussex Police said: “A total of 59 people have so far been convicted of offences as part of the summer Operation Dragonfly drink and drug driving campaign.”

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