The journey of a drink-driving teacher travelling through Sussex has been captured in shocking footage released by police.
The video shows the moment a woman crashes into a parked car in Bexhill, having been seen swerving across the road and clipping kerbs for several miles previously.
Taken from the offender’s own dash cam, the footage has been released to highlight the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.
PC Nathan Langley, of the Polegate Roads Policing Unit, said: “The dangers of drink-driving are well-documented – it can seriously impair your reaction times, concentration levels, and judgement of other road users and hazards. But a lot of people may find this difficult to visualise.
“Now, through the release of this footage, we can show you exactly what it looks like to drive under the influence of alcohol, and you can see just how shocking it is.
“The scary thing is this isn’t a particularly unusual or extraordinary example of drink-driving; the driver has displayed a number of characteristics which you would typically expect. What you wouldn’t expect, of course, is for someone in such a state to get behind the wheel of their car.”
Police were first alerted to the incident at 5.24pm on April 4 by a member of the public concerned for the driver of a white Vauxhall Corsa described as repeatedly clipping the kerb on the A259 Marsh Road.
Shortly afterwards, police say a further call was received by another member of the public who reported the same vehicle being driven erratically before crashing into a parked Audi A4. Following this, the suspect reversed and drove off, before stopping again a short distance later.
Officers arrived at the scene in Turkey Road and the driver was identified as Louise Willard, 41, a teacher, of Ashby Close, Bexhill. Fortunately, police say she was uninjured.
Willard was required to undergo a roadside breath test, which she failed, and she was subsequently charged with driving with 94mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in her system. The legal limit is 35mcg.
She was also charged with failing to stop after a road traffic collision.
At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (April 25), Willard pleaded guilty to both offences and was disqualified from driving for 24 months. She was also sentenced to a 12-month community order, requiring her to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.
PC Langley added: “We hope by releasing this footage that people will take note.
“If you’ve ever considered drink-driving, think again.
“Or, if you have done it before, don’t even think about doing it again; the next time could be your last.
“Every year, people’s lives are destroyed by drink-driving. In Sussex in 2017, a total of 13 people were killed and a further 65 were seriously injured in drink-driving related collisions.
“The law around drink-driving is in place for a reason – it is there to keep you safe and to deal robustly with those who compromise the safety of themselves and others by driving while under the influence.”
The consequences of drink driving include:
• A minimum 12 month ban
• An unlimited fine
• A possible prison sentence
• A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment
• An increase in your car insurance;
• Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.
People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.