Eastbourne painter among those sentenced in drink driving crackdown

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An Eastbourne painter was among a number of people sentenced as part of a Sussex Police drink driving crackdown.

Twenty-three-year-old Agim Toska, of The Avenue, was arrested in Upper Avenue, Eastbourne, on December 9 and charged with driving with 43mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.

Sussex Police say he was disqualified from driving for 12 months at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on February 14. He was also ordered to pay a £180 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

And Mark Saltmarsh, 40, unemployed, of Regnum Close, Eastbourne, was arrested in Dutchells Way, Eastbourne, on December 23, and charged with: driving with 3mcg of cannabis and 593mcg of benzoylecgonine per litre of blood in his system, driving while disqualified, driving with no insurance and fraudulent use of a registration plate.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on March 15, he was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and disqualified from driving for four years. He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, and pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

While James Hurle, 21, a security guard, of High Street, Pevensey, was arrested in Bridge End, Pevensey, on December 25 and charged with driving with 659mcg of benzoylecgonine per litre of blood in his system.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on March 15, he was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and disqualified from driving for 36 months. He was also ordered to pay £150 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Chief Inspector Warren Franklin, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said, “Drink and drug-driving is one of the four major contributory factors of serious and fatal collisions in the UK.

“There is never an acceptable time to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol and there is no excuse for it.

“While the majority of motorists drive safely and responsibly, there are a number of people who continue to flout the law, which is ultimately in place to protect everyone on our roads.

“We take reports of drink and drug-driving extremely seriously, and anyone caught committing these offences will be dealt with robustly.”

There were 195 arrests made in Sussex during Surrey and Sussex Police’s Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-driving, which ran from 1 December 2017 to 1 January 2018.

So far, a total of 113 have been convicted in court. The remaining have either been charged, released under investigation or released without charge.

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.