Drug drivers arrested in police crackdown are named in court
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Drug drivers arrested as part of a winter crackdown by Sussex Police have been named and convicted in court.
Officers carried out enforcement patrols and checks as part of a national campaign called Operation Limit through December.
A total of 233 motorists were arrested, and in keeping with previous campaigns, some of those convicted and disqualified for their offences are being named to raise awareness and provide a deterrent to others from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Earlier in 2023, Sussex Police named dozens of drivers who were convicted for drink-driving over the legal alcohol limit.
Now, the force is revealing some of the drivers who have been recently convicted for driving while over the prescribed limit for drugs.
Convictions often take longer for these types of cases because blood samples from those arrested have to be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Roads Policing Unit Superintendent Rachel Glenton said: “Our officers are determined to catch offenders on our roads before they cause serious harm to themselves or other road users.
“We patrol the county’s roads 24/7, every day of the year, and these results show that while we can’t be everywhere, we could be anywhere.”
Among those who appeared in court was Ricky Heather, 26, of Malthouse Way, Durrington.
The former window fitter was stopped in Mill Road, Worthing, in a Ford Fiesta, on December 3 because only one rear brake light was working.
Officers noticed a strong smell of cannabis from his vehicle.
Heather’s blood sample showed he had 10 microgrammes (mcg) of cannabis per litre of blood. The legal limit for conviction is 2mcg of cannabis per litre of blood.
At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on May 2 he admitted drug-driving and was disqualified for one year. He must also pay a £304 fine, £85 costs and a £122 surcharge.
Michael Baker was stopped in Colonnade Gardens, Eastbourne, on December 4 in a Ford Focus.
The unemployed 35-year-old, of Bourne Street, Eastbourne, was also found in possession of a small quantity of cocaine.
At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on May 4, he admitted two counts of drug-driving, possession of a class A drug, driving without valid insurance, and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.
His blood test showed he had 325mcg of cocaine chemicals per litre of blood in his body. The legal limit for the breakdown of cocaine is 50mcg per litre of blood.
Baker was disqualified for one year and ordered to pay £240 in fines, £85 costs, and a £96 surcharge.
Police stopped Joe Roberts driving a Volkswagen Touran in Howlett Drive, Hailsham, on December 6.
They had noticed the vehicle did not have a valid MOT test certificate, and there was a young passenger also in the vehicle.
Roberts, 35, a security employee of Hedley Way, Hailsham, tested positive for cocaine, and tests showed he had 580mcg of cocaine chemicals per litre of blood in his body. The legal limit is 50mcg per litre of blood.
At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on May 3, he admitted drug-driving and driving without valid insurance and was disqualified for one year, fined £300, and ordered to pay £85 costs.
Gemma Collett was stopped in a vehicle linked to an attempted burglary in Polegate on December 24.
The 41-year-old at first failed to stop for officers until reaching the Cophall Roundabout after short pursuit from Old Willingdon Road. She failed a roadside DrugsWipe test for cannabis, then refused to provide a sample for analysis in custody.
At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on May 24, Collett, unemployed, of Salehurst Road, Eastbourne, admitted failing to stop, failing to provide a specimen for analysis, attempted burglary, and theft from a shop.
She was disqualified for one year, ordered to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) sessions, and must pay £310 costs and a £114 surcharge.
Billy Ingham was stopped on December 30 in the village of Ripe near Lewes. Officers noticed the smell of cannabis from the Vauxhall Meriva he was driving.
The 31-year-old engineer, of Mount Way, Welwyn Garden City, appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on May 4 where he admitted drug-driving.
He tested positive for 3mcg of cannabis per litre of blood. The legal limit for conviction is 2mcg of cannabis per litre of blood.
Ingham was disqualified for one year, fined £100, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £40 surcharge.
Finally, Nicole Farmiloe-France was stopped while driving a Range Rover on the A23 at Handcross on December 30. Officers noticed her pupils had contacted, and she tested positive for cocaine.
The unemployed 50-year-old tested positive for 489mcg of cocaine chemicals per litre of her blood. The legal limit is 50mcg per litre.
At Crawley Magistrates’ Court on May 3, Farmiloe-France, of Westmoreland Drive, Sutton, admitted drug driving.
She was disqualified for three years and was ordered to complete 24 rehabilitation activity requirement sessions.
Sussex Police officers’ work to stop drink and drug drivers continues all year round, and officers will continue to be on patrol to stop selfish motorists who put the safety of themselves and other road users at risk.
The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include:
Killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else;
A minimum 12-month ban;
An unlimited fine;
A possible prison sentence;
A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;