Drink driver told police she was mourning her father’s death

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A woman from St Leonards who crashed her car and tried to run away from police officers had been on a drinking session mourning the death of her father according to police.

Zoe Elliott-Brown crashed her purple Peugeot 205 into cars in Edmund Road, Hastings, and then tried to escape after clambering out of the driving seat of the convertible at about 8pm on June 8 last year.

Sussex Police said locals identified her to officers and she was arrested nearby when she told police she had been on a drinking session because she was grieving the death of her father.

She was found to have 120 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of her breath - more than three times the 35 microgrammes legal limit - and later refused to answer questions in interview.

Elliott-Brown, of Kenilworth Road, pleaded guilty to drink-driving when she appeared at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on January 20. She was banned from driving for 30 months, given an eight week suspended prison sentence and ordered to do 200 hours of community service. She was also told to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Superintendent Jane Derrick said: “While I understand that Ms Elliott Brown was struggling with a very tragic set of circumstances following the death of her father, there is no excuse for drink-driving.

“We need the public’s help to identify people who believe they can drink-drive safely and continue to put their lives and the lives of others in danger.”

A month-long campaign was run last June as part of Operation Dragonfly, the force’s crackdown on drink and drug drivers.

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.