Haywards Heath teenager arrested during drink-driving crackdown

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A teenager from Haywards Heath is the youngest person arrested as part of of a crackdown on drink-drivers in Sussex.

More than 170 people could be banned from the roads after they were arrested.

A total of 120 people have been charged with drink or drug-related driving offences since December 1 when Sussex Police began its annual Christmas campaign to make the roads safer.

A further 52 people have been arrested during the month before being released on bail while officers carry out further inquiries.

The arrests have followed officers testing more than 4,000 motorists for drink or drugs after accidents or having stopped their vehicles.

Chief Inspector Natalie Moloney said: “I’m very disappointed that so many people ignored our messages and decided to risk their lives and the lives of other people by drink-driving or drug-driving.

“The fact that 21 people were arrested on suspicion of driving after taking drugs confirms my view that it is not just drink-driving that must be tackled in Sussex to make the roads safer for everyone.

“Magistrates have shown in the cases that have been dealt with so far that they will ban offenders from the roads and fine them as well.

“I expect to see plenty more motorists banned from driving by the courts because of their selfish behaviour during the campaign which will affect not just them but their families, friends and businesses.

“We will continue to look for drink and drug drivers every day and every night - it is not just a priority for us at Christmas.”

A 16-year-old boy from Haywards Heath was arrested on 17 December in Handcross Road, Staplefield, after officers found a car crashed into bushes. He was questioned before being released on bail.

Mark Southerton, 45, was arrested at 1.15am on 21 December after officers saw a car being driven erratically in Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath.

Southerton, of Sunte Close, Haywards Heath, was charged with drink-driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance and was ordered to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty.

He was ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge, £80 costs, was disqualified for 44 months and was given a suspended 12-week sentence.

Michael Nunn, 58, was arrested at 5.50pm on 22 December after a car struck three parked vehicles in Lingfield Road, East Grinstead.

Nunn, of Goodwins Close, East Grinstead, was charged with drink-driving and released on bail to appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 15 January.

Paul Phillips, 42, was arrested at 12.30am on 23 December in School Close, Burgess Hill, after his vehicle was reported to be being driven erratically.

Phillips, of Foxhill Court, Haywards Heath, was charged with drink-driving and released on bail to appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 15 January.

To report anyone driving antisocially visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.

If you know someone is driving after drinking or taking drugs call 999.