Eight arrests by police in drug-driving crackdown

Sussex Police
Sussex Police

A Horley man was among eight arrested by police in the first week after the introduction of new drug-driving legislation.

Each of the men was stopped and tested using new roadside equipment that indicates whether a motorist has taken cannabis or cocaine, using a swab from inside the driver’s mouth.

Legislation that came into force on March 2 sets legal limits for how much of a substance - both illegal drugs and prescription medication - motorists can have in their system while driving.

Officers no longer need to prove that a motorist is fit to drive - just that the motorist has an illegal level of drugs in their system while driving.

Liam Hancock, 28, was arrested shortly before 1am on March 5 after his car was stopped on the A23 at Warninglid because his numberplate was obscured.

Hancock, of Horley Row, Horley, was charged with failing to provide a specimen for analysis and possession of cocaine. He was released on bail to appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on March 25.

A 35-year-old man from Brighton was arrested during a police operation in London Road, Brighton, at 9.35am on March 2. He was later released on bail until April 24 while officers wait for the results of the tests.

A 24-year-old man from London was arrested at about 5.30pm on March 2 after his car was seen driving at speed in Bolnore Road, Haywards Heath. He was released on bail until April 5.

A 29-year-old man from St Leonards was arrested at 10.50am on March 4 after his car was seen speeding in Johnson Close, St Leonards. He was released on bail until May 7.

A 25-year-old man from Hailsham was arrested at 5.45pm on March 6 after he was stopped in Church Lane, Hellingly. He was released on bail until April 27.

A 36-year-old man from East Grinstead was arrested after his car was seen to clip a kerb while travelling at speed at 8.20pm on March 6 in Station Road, East Grinstead. He was released on bail until April 24.

A 19-year-old man from Saltdean was arrested at 12.50am on March 7 after he was stopped in Nuthurst Place, Brighton. He was released on bail until April 25.

A 23-year-old man from Brighton was arrested at Pease Pottage services at 3.45am on March 8 after officers stopped his vehicle because it was being driven erratically. He was released on bail until May 5.

Inspector Stewart Goodwin, of Surrey and Sussex roads policing unit, said: “The fact that we have made eight arrests because of the new legislation and equipment in just a week shows how much of difference the change in the law will make.

“People who take drugs and get behind the wheel can have slower reaction times, struggle to concentrate and can behave more erratically on the roads, putting both themselves and other people in danger.

“We will not tolerate drug-driving and would urge anyone who thinks they know someone who is driving after taking drugs to contact us urgently so that we can act.”