Operation Dragonfly: St Leonards driver too drunk to get out of car

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A woman who crashed her car into an oncoming vehicle was so drunk she could not open its door.

The Ford Fiesta of Deborah Ellis swerved onto the wrong side of Upper Church Road in St Leonards and crashed head on into a Fiat Punto shortly before 6pm on June 8.

Passers-by then watched as she tried and failed repeatedly to get out of the vehicle, using the handle to open the door but then being unable to get out before it closed on her.

She eventually managed to get out of the Fiesta but then tried to get back in it when police arrived.

However she was so unsteady on her feet she could not hold the door open long enough to get into the driver’s seat.

When officers tested her they found she had 133 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of her breath - almost four times the drink-drive legal limit.

Ellis, 57, of Ormerod Avenue, St Leonards, pleaded guilty to drink-driving when she appeared at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 24 June.

She was banned from driving for 30 months and ordered to pay £235 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

A total of 29 people have so far been convicted of offences as part of Sussex Police’s campaign, called Operation Dragonfly, to clamp down on drink and drug driving.

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.

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