Brighton computer engineer banned after failing to take breath test

Posted On 29 Jan 2023 at 12:12 pm

A computer software engineer from Brighton has been banned from driving for almost two years for failing to take a breathalyser test.

Stephen Burden

Stephen Burden, 30, a computer engineer, of Ladysmith Road, Brighton, had gone out for three pints a week before Christmas, Worthing magistrates were told.

Burden took a roadside breath test in Oving Road, Chichester, and his alcohol level was found to be almost three times the legal limit.

Maria Goptareva, prosecuting, said that he had 97 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Sussex Police arrested Burden but when he was in custody he failed “to provide a specimen of breath for analysis without reasonable cause”.

Burden pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 10 January and was given a 22-month driving ban.

He was fined £952 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a £381 victim surcharge, making £1,418 in total.

Lenny Kerkhove, 29, pleaded guilty to drink driving when he appeared before Worthing magistrates on the same date.

Kerkhove had left a pub in Southwick “after being involved in an altercation” and got behind the wheel of his new white Tesla.

Maria Goptareva, prosecuting, said that he then crashed into a building in Southwick Street on Sunday 18 December.

Lenny Kerkhove

He was breathalysed and found to have 52 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Kerkhove, an insurance broker, of Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, admitted drink driving and was banned for 14 months.

The bench fined him £409 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85 costs and a £164 victim surcharge, making £658 in total.

Sussex Police said: “Last month officers carried out enforcement patrols and checks as part of a national campaign called Operation Limit.

“A total of 233 motorists were arrested and, in keeping with previous campaigns, those convicted and disqualified for their offences are being named to raise awareness and provide a deterrent to others from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

“Meanwhile, our public campaign Drink Driving: Together We Can Stop It, continues to highlight the need for everyone to prevent, persuade and report drink drivers to the police.”

Superintendent Rachel Glenton, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “Our officers are determined to catch offenders on our roads before they cause serious harm to themselves or other road users.

“We patrol the county’s roads 24/7, every day of the year, and these results show that while we can’t be everywhere, we could be anywhere.”

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