Hastings shop manager and cleaner convicted of drink-driving offences

A shop manager and a cleaner from Hastings are among the latest people convicted as part of Surrey and Sussex Police’s Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.

Neil Priddy, 36, a cleaner, of Chowns Hill, Hastings, was arrested in Queensway, St Leonards, on December 2 and charged with driving with 76mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, according to police.

Police said 240 arrests were made during a drink-drive crackdown which ran throughout December 2018

Police said 240 arrests were made during a drink-drive crackdown which ran throughout December 2018

Police said at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on January 2, he was disqualified from driving for 36 months. He was also ordered to pay a £300 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Niranjan Thapa, 41, a shop manager, of Ghyllside Avenue, Hastings, was arrested in Ghyllside Avenue, Hastings, on December 7 and charged with driving while unfit through drink, police said.

At Hastings Magistrates’ Court on January 9, according to police, he was disqualified from driving for 17 months and sentenced to a 12-month community order, requiring him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay a £133 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Priddy and Thapa were among a total of 240 arrests made in Sussex during the campaign, which ran from December 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019.

Of these, 57 have so far been convicted.

A further 36 have been charged to attend court, and the remaining have either been released under investigation pending further enquiries or released without charge.

A police spokesman said: “If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following: a minimum 12 month ban; an unlimited fine; a possible prison sentence; a criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment; an increase in your car insurance; and trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.”

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.

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