Suspended prison sentence for drink-driver found collapsed in Portslade layby

Posted On 13 Jul 2016 at 9:45 am

A driver who had more than four times the legally allowed amount of alcohol in his system has been given a suspended prison sentence by magistrates.

Michael Watts, 58, had passed out in a layby on the A293 link road between Old Shoreham Road and the A27 Brighton bypass just after lunch.

The carpenter, of Cokeham Lane, Sompting, was slumped beside his Renault Trafic van when someone spotted him and called Sussex Police.

The force said: “Police and paramedics received a call from a concerned member of the public, who reported seeing a man alight from a van and collapse at about 2.15pm on Monday 27 June.

“Officers arrived and arrested the driver after he failed a roadside breath test.

“Watts was subsequently charged with driving with 159 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath in his system. The legal limit is 35mg.

“He pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday 11 July and was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

“He was also disqualified from driving for 36 months, ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months, and pay £85 costs and a £140 victim surcharge.

“A total of 204 arrests were made in Sussex between Monday 6 June and Sunday 10 July as part of Operation Dragonfly, Surrey and Sussex Police’s summer crackdown on drink and drug drivers.

“As of today (Wednesday 13 July), 45 people have been convicted, with each receiving a minimum 12-month driving disqualification.

Angelo Capaldi, 57, self-employed, of Sutherland Road, Brighton, was arrested in Shirley Street, Hove, on (Friday) 17 June, and charged with driving with 58mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, driving with no licence and driving with no insurance.

“He pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on (Monday) 4 July and was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a £600 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Margaret Udeen, 63, retired, of Hartington Road, Brighton, was arrested in Bernard Road, Brighton, on (Friday) 24 June and charged with driving with 46mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in her system.

“She pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on (Monday) 11 July and was disqualified from driving for 12 months. She was also ordered to pay a £237 fine, £85 costs and a £30 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.

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

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