Drink-driver spotted by off-duty police officer

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A 36-year-old woman has been banned from driving after she was spotted by an off-duty police officer weaving across the road and onto the verge in the early hours of the morning.

The officer was driving home shortly before 1am on 20 December when he saw Evgenia Talbot’s Honda CRV being driven erratically in Jevington Road, Filching.

Talbot almost struck the officer’s car so he decided to follow her and watched as she drove through Wannock and into Polegate slowing down and accelerating without reason, crossing to the wrong side of the road and going off the road and onto the grass verge.

The officer called for assistance and Talbot, who admitted she was drunk, was arrested in High Street, Polegate. The Honda’s MOT had expired two months earlier.

Talbot, of Offham Road, Cooksbridge, pleaded guilty to drink-driving and using a vehicle without an MOT when she appeared at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on April 30.

She was banned from driving for 22 months, fined £500 and ordered to pay £400 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas said, “Alcohol dramatically affects your reflexes and reaction time which is one of the reasons why it is so dangerous to drink and drive.

“You might not feel excessively drunk but you will not have full control of your vehicle which puts you, your passengers and everyone else on the roads at risk.

“Talbot’s driving could have easily led to a serious or even fatal crash as she clearly did not have control of her car and it was fortunate that no one was hurt.

“Drink-driving is totally unacceptable and we will continue to look for and arrest anyone using the roads while under the influence.”

A total of 120 people have so far been convicted of offences as part of Operation Dragonfly in December. A further 13 people are still going through the courts.

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

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

To keep up to date with officers looking for drink or drug drivers, follow #opdragonfly on Twitter.

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