Lindfield woman among 161 arrested in drink and drug-driving crackdown

Ella Whitlock, 63, was among 161 people arrested in the summer crackdown
Ella Whitlock, 63, was among 161 people arrested in the summer crackdown

A Lindfield woman was among 161 people who were arrested in Sussex as part of Surrey and Sussex Police’s summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.

Ella Whitlock, 63, unemployed, of Lewes Road, Lindfield, was arrested in Walnut Park, Haywards Heath, on June 17, and charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath when suspected of driving, police said.

At Crawley Magistrates’ Court on June 16, she was disqualified from driving for 12 months. She was also ordered to pay a £120 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

The summer crackdown ran from June 14, to July 15. The figure compares to 195 arrests made during the 2017 Christmas campaign and 150 arrests made during the summer 2017 campaign.

While these are dedicated bi-annual operations, officers will continue to respond to reports of drink and drug-drivers across the county 365 days a year.

Police are now reminding motorists to be aware of the law on drink and drugs – or prepare to face the consequences.

Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said: “We are hugely disappointed but not surprised by these latest statistics.

“Unfortunately, despite our repeated messaging around the risks of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, there will always be a minority who ignore our advice.

“Drink and drug-driving is stupid and irresponsible, and offenders will often express their regret and remorse at what they have done.

“However, they shouldn’t have done it in the first place, and should count themselves lucky to still be alive.

“Drink and drugs seriously impair your ability to drive, and this is one of the four major contributory factors of serious injury and fatal collisions in Surrey and Sussex.

“Common excuses include ‘it was only a short drive home’ and ‘I felt fine to drive’, but ultimately there is no excuse.

“If you’re fortunate enough to be caught – and not killed – after drink or drug-driving, you will be dealt with robustly.

“Ideally we don’t want to arrest anyone; we would rather they didn’t commit any offences in the first place.

“We hope by continuing to identify those convicted of such offences, it will deter them from committing the same offence again, and will deter others from doing the same.”

FilBrit community comes together for summer fiesta in Ansty

COUNTY NEWS: See the £230,000 damage done to Lewes Prison by inmates

Application for homes in Burgess Hill sparks wildlife concerns