Four drink drivers arrested in one night after forgetting to put their lights on

The police campaign against drink- and drug-driving

The police campaign against drink- and drug-driving

In one night, four drink drivers were caught after they forgot to switch their headlights on.

The incidents - in Eastbourne, Crawley, Brighton, and Lower Beeding - happened in the space of just five hours.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Dragonfly, Surrey and Sussex Police’s summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.

A statement from Sussex Police said: “At about 11.40pm on Saturday 9 July, police were flagged down by staff at The Alexandra Arms public house in Seaside, Eastbourne.

“The officers were informed of an ‘extremely drunk’ couple in the rear car park who had refused to hand their keys over upon leaving the premises.

“Moments later, a blue Ford Focus emerged from the car park and turned left onto Allfrey Road. The vehicle had no lights on and was driving very slowly.

“Police signalled for the car to stop, but it continued into Norway Road and left onto Vine Square, before it eventually came to a standstill.

PC Deborah Sands said: “As we approached the driver, it was immediately apparent that he was heavily intoxicated from his demeanour and the smell of alcohol coming from him. He was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and the female passenger was taken home. Both parties were extremely drunk and verbally abusive to officers.”

“The suspect initially refused to provide any personal details but, once at custody, a driving licence was found in his wallet which identified him as Darren Johnson, of Dacombe Drive, Poole, Dorset.

“The 47-year-old, who is unemployed, failed a breath test and was subsequently charged with driving with 97mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.

“He pleaded guilty at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (27 July) and was disqualified from driving for 24 months. He was also ordered to carry out 110 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months, and pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.

“Three further motorists were stopped for the same reason within the next five hours.

“Michael Mitchell, 34, unemployed, of Old Hospital Close, London, was arrested in Charlwood Road, Crawley, at about 1.42am on 10 July and charged with driving with 112mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.

“He pleaded guilty at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 26 July and was disqualified from driving for 18 months. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months, and pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.

“Daniel Jaworski, 21, a driver, of Findon Road, Brighton, was arrested in Madeira Drive, Brighton, at about 2.53am on 10 July and charged with driving with 66mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.

“He pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 25 July and was disqualified from driving for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay a £300 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

“Alix Dunlop, 23, an animal beautician, of Leechpond Hill, Lower Beeding, was arrested in Leechpond Hill, Lower Beeding, at about 4.20am on 10 July and charged with driving with 98mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in her system.

“She pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 25 July and was disqualified from driving for 24 months. She was also ordered to pay a £307 fine, £85 costs and a £31 victim surcharge.

Sergeant Phil Badman, of the Surrey and Sussex Police Roads Policing Unit, said: “It goes without saying that being under the influence of drink or drugs can seriously impair your ability to drive. Typically, your reaction times are dramatically reduced, and the effects of your lack of judgement could easily lead to a collision.

“Worryingly, the motorists convicted in these cases were unable to operate even the most basic of facilities in their vehicles, which in turn brought them to the attention of police.

“It demonstrates that no matter how capable you think you are of driving with drink or drugs in your system, the chances are you are in no fit state to get behind the wheel.

“It also shows that we continue to stop vehicles throughout the year – not just during dedicated drink or drug-driving campaigns – for a number of reasons.

“Our advice, as always, is never to drive while under the influence. The consequences can be devastating and it’s simply not worth the risk.”

People in Sussex can text police on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving, visit http://www.operationcrackdown.co.uk/ or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you are certain that someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, police advise you to call 999.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.