LEWES District Councillor and Seaford resident Ian White has been suspended from the Conservative group after admitting a drink-drive offence.
The 64-year-old, was at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.
The Hurdis Road resident, who is leader of Seaford Town Council, has been banned from the road for 12 months.
Speaking after the hearing Councillor Tony Nicholson, leader of Lewes District Council, said, “As leader of the Conservative Party I’ve suspended Ian White from the group for three months.
“We view what he has done as a serious matter.”
He added the action did not mean Mr White could not sit as a councillor but would not be able to do so as a representative of the Conservatives for Lewes District Council.
He added, “Ian White has been an excellent councillor in Seaford West Ward and will continue to be so.
“A three-month suspension will show how seriously we take this while not depriving people in his ward, and indeed in the whole district, of an excellent Conservative councillor, for too long.”
Mr White, who was re-elected as a town and district councillor in the May elections, was stopped by police on May 3 in Marine Drive, Bishopstone.
Prosecutor Sarah Waymark told magistrates the defendant failed a roadside breath test and a further reading showed he had 48mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.
Representing himself, Mr White said he was not stopped because of a road traffic offence and added, “The count was 48 which I’m informed is one unit of alcohol over and above the legal limit.
“I had no intention of drinking and driving, it was a miscalculation on my part. I have had considerable press coverage, I’m a councillor and do work in the community and I understand there will be a mandatory disqualification which I fully accept.
“I would like you to take into account that with my work in the community, a car is very important to me.
“I would like the court to accept my apologies and deal with this as leniently as you can in view of my community work.”
Mr White was fined £440 and must pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
He White said, “I completely accept the punishment from both the courts and my Conservative colleagues.
“I can only promise that I will continue to work hard for the people in my ward.”