VIDEO: Sussex Police release video of a drug-driver struggling to stand

Police
Police

The police have released another video as part of their road safety crackdown over motorists who get behind the wheel after taking drugs.

Legislation that came into force today (Monday 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.

A new device has also been approved that will allow officers at the roadside to test if a motorist has taken cannabis or cocaine.

The DrugWipe system allows officers to determine in less than 10 minutes whether motorists have the illegal substances in their body, using a swab from inside a driver’s cheek.

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.

Any drivers who fail the tests will be arrested and taken to a police station where they will be asked to consent to a sample of their blood being taken. That blood will then be sent away to be examined and if illegal levels of a drug are found, the motorist faces being prosecuted for drug-driving.

Drug-driving is a widespread but often hidden menace across the county

If the driver refuses to give consent, they face being prosecuted for the offence of failing to provide a sample of blood for analysis.

Inspector Stewart Goodwin, of Surrey and Sussex road policing unit, said, “Drug-driving is a widespread but often hidden menace across the country.

“You don’t have to be on illegal drugs to be unfit to drive - many prescription or over-the-counter drugs can also impair your ability to drive.”

Sean Thompson, 26, was arrested after he crashed his Ford Focus into a van in Petersfield Road, Midhurst, at 7.45am on 11 July 2014.

He and had already hit at least four parked cars on the journey before he crashed into the van, wrecking it and his vehicle.

When officers arrived he was trying to push his car at the scene. He had cocaine, ketamine and alcohol in his system and was

struggling to walk without falling over and trying to touch his nose with his hand.

Thompson, of Holmbush Way, Midhurst, pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs. He was banned from driving for 29 months, given an eight week suspended sentence, ordered to do 80 hours of community service and ordered to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.