170 drivers face ban following arrests in police operation

A NORTHIAM builder was among those arrested in connection with drink driving over Christmas and the New Year.

John Rattray, 33, from Coppards Lane, Northiam, was arrested following a collision in Main Street, Beckley on Boxing Day.

He has been charged and bailed to appear before Hastings magistrates on February 5.

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.

The youngest suspect is a 16 year old boy from Haywards Heath, who was arrested after a car was found crashed, while the oldest is a 76 year old from Horsham.

This is the first year that police have publically named those arrested in relation to suspected drink-driving.