Hastings drink-driver made U-turn to avoid police checkpoint

Picture supplied by Sussex Police
Picture supplied by Sussex Police

A Hastings motorist who made a U-turn after she saw police conducting drink and drug-driving checks has been disqualified, according to police.

Lucy Noble was driving along The Ridge, Hastings, about 10.20pm on June 22 when she spotted officers at the static check point ahead, police said.

She turned around in an attempt to avoid being arrested, police said, but was followed and stopped in a nearby road.

The 23-year-old, unemployed, of Lower South Road, St Leonards, took a roadside breath test, which she failed.

She was charged with driving with 56mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in her system.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on July 11, she was disqualified from driving for 16 months. She was also ordered to pay a £350 fine, £85 costs and a £35 victim surcharge, police said.

Noble was among 161 people arrested in Sussex as part of Surrey and Sussex Police’s summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers, which ran from June 14 to July 15.

This is in addition to the 195 arrests made during the 2017 Christmas campaign and 150 during the summer 2017 campaign.

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.”

The latest convictions in the area are:

Gary Strickson, 40, a demolition worker, of Martyns Way, Bexhill, was arrested in Wishing Tree Road, St Leonards, on June 21 and charged with driving with 109mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on July 11, he was disqualified from driving for 27 months. He was also ordered to pay a £900 fine, £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

Stella Cole, 61, unemployed, of Burwash Common, Etchingham, was arrested on the A22 at Hailsham on June 22 and charged with driving with 74mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in her system.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on July 11, she was disqualified from driving for 18 months. She was also ordered to pay a £400 fine, £85 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.

Perry Stratford, 26, army personnel, of Waterlooville, Hampshire, was arrested in Cambridge Road, Hastings, on June 23 and charged with driving with 69mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on July 11, he was disqualified from driving for 19 months. He was also ordered to pay a £450 fine, £85 costs and a £45 victim surcharge.