A Brighton white van man has been banned from the road after being caught drink driving during the annual summer crackdown by Sussex Police.
Michael Mercer, 24, a building labourer, of Hawkhurst Road, Coldean, was arrested in Old Shoreham Road, Lancing, on Tuesday 25 June – the day after crackdown began.
He was at the wheel of a white Ford Transit and had nearly three times the legal amount of alcohol in his breath, according to Sussex Police.
Mercer had 94 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.
He pleaded guilty to drink driving when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 11 July.
The bench banned Mercer from driving for three years and gave him a 12-month community order.
He will be required to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Mercer was one of 83 people to have been arrested during the summer crackdown on drink and drug drivers, Sussex Police said. The campaign ran from Monday 24 June to Sunday 7 July.
Darren Hamilton, 42, of Hampshire Terrace, Southsea, Portsmouth, also admitted drink driving when he appeared before Brighton magistrates on Thursday 11 July.
Hamilton was driving a black Honda when he was stopped in Windlesham Road, Brighton, on Friday 21 June.
He had 98 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath – almost three times the 35-microgram limit.
The bench banned Hamilton from driving for two years, fined him £461 and ordered him to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £46 victim surcharge, making £592 in total.
Another man, Samuel Correa, was caught drink driving at the wheel of a Peugeot on the A259 Kingsway in Hove at the end of March.
Correa, 25, of Horsebridge House, Horsebridge Common, Ashurst, Steyning, admitted drink driving. Brighton magistrates were told on Thursday 11 July that he had 87 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.
He was banned from the road for 12 months, fined £266 and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge, making £381 in total.
A Brighton woman drove with almost five times the legally permitted amount of cocaine in her system and more than three times the legally permitted level of cannabis.
Shelley Payter, 29, of The Curve, in Carlton Hill, Brighton, was caught driving a Vauxhall Astra in nearby Ashton Rise, Brighton, in January, the court was told on Thursday 11 July.
She had the equivalent of 234 micrograms of benzoylecgonine in a litre of blood. The legal limit is 50 micrograms.
And she had 7 micrograms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in a litre of blood. The legal limit is 2 micrograms.
Payter admitted two counts of drug driving and was banned for a year, fined £120 and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge, making £235 in total.
A Hove man was given a 12-month ban for driving with almost twice the legally permitted level of cannabis traces found in his blood.
Mahin Ali, also known as Mahir Ali, 21, of Poynings Drive, Hangleton, was stopped in February in Sackville Road, Hove, at the wheel of a Fiat.
He had 3.2 micrograms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in a litre of his blood. The legal limit is 2 micrograms.
Ali pleaded guilty to drug driving when he appeared before Brighton magistrates on Thursday 11 July.
He was fined £200 in addition to his driving ban and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge, making £315 in total.
Two drivers who appeared before a district judge at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 11 July were spared a ban.
Luke Jackson, 25, of Livingstone Road, Hove, admitted driving a white Vauxhall in Station Road, Portslade, last December without due care and attention.
Jackson initially denied the offence but changed his plea to guilty.
District Judge Tessa Szagun gave him six points on his licence – enough to land him with a ban when totting up the points with those he already had.
But she spared him the loss of his licence because of his mitigating circumstances.
The court was told that Jackson would face exceptional hardship because a driving ban would cost him his job and his home.
He was fined £350 and ordered to pay £200 prosecution costs and a £35 victim surcharge, making £585 in total.
The district judge also showed mercy to a 29-year-old woman who admitted drink driving in a Vauxhall Corsa in Hillside, Brighton, in May.
Victoria Scott, 29, of Manor Way, Brighton, had 61 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
She was fined £120 and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge, making £235 in total.
But District Judge Szagun said that there were special reasons for not imposing an obligatory driving ban – the short distance driven and because she had driven under pressure from an abusive ex-partner.
Referring to those convicted of drink and drug driving during the annual summer crackdown, Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “It is hugely disappointing that so many people still make the conscious decision to drive with drink or drugs in their system.
“We run dedicated campaigns at peak times of the year – during summer and over Christmas – to provide education and enforcement, and this is in addition to routine roads policing 365 days a year.
“Driving while over the specified limit for drink or drugs is a serious offence which carries significant risks – it is one of the four most common causes of fatal and serious injury collisions on our roads.
“Every year we see people’s lives being destroyed by drink and drug drivers. And it’s not just those unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision.
“It also affects the offender themselves, with consequences including a criminal record, a fine or jail term, increased car insurance, potential job loss and trouble travelling to some countries.
“In an ideal world, no one would commit any offences and we wouldn’t have to make any arrests.
“But we have a duty to keep people on our roads as safe as possible and anyone who compromises this will be dealt with robustly.
“I cannot stress enough that the risk is real and if you drive under the influence of drink or drugs, your next journey could be your last.”
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