Copthorne drink-driver one of 24 banned from roads

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A Copthorne driver has been banned from the roads after being convicted as part of the police’s Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-driving.

Paul Seeraj, an insurance underwriter, of Copthorne Common Road, was arrested in Newtown, Copthorne, on December 4, police said.

The 44-year-old was charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.

He pleaded guilty at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on December 20 and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay a £550 fine, £85 costs and a £55 victim surcharge.

Officers carrying out patrols and responding to calls have so far made 187 arrests across the county.

Of these, 24 have already been convicted and a further 77 have been charged to appear in court.

Superintendent Chris Moon, head of roads policing for Surrey and Sussex Police, said: “While the majority of people who drive on our county’s roads are responsible, there is still a minority who either don’t think or simply don’t care about the consequences of their actions. Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is a serious offence and it won’t be tolerated.

“Last year, more than 70 people were either killed or seriously injured on the roads in Sussex due to drink-driving, and these collisions could so easily have been avoided.

“But drink and drug-driving doesn’t just cost lives; it will also cost you your licence, with a minimum 12-month disqualification for anyone convicted. In addition, it could cost you your job, your home, or your family and friends.

“It really is not worth the risk, and we would urge all motorists to think before they get behind the wheel of their car. Drink or drive; never both.”

The operation, which aims to educate offenders and raise awareness of the risks of drink and drug-driving, launched on Thursday December 1 and ends on Sunday (January 1).

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or visit http://www.operationcrackdown.co.uk/.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/).

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs call 999.

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