Drink-driving St Leonards builder banned from road

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A St Leonards builder who was caught drink-driving on Christmas Eve has been given a three-year driving ban.

Police say 28-year-old Jean Murphy of Catsfield Close, was stopped in Hastings at around 10pm on December 24, after his black Audi A6 was seen driving erratically by patrol officers.

The car was stopped in Clifton Road where, police say, Murphy was found to be unsteady on his feet and slurring his speech. Police say he was breath tested and charged with driving with 45mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system. The legal limit is 35mcg.

At Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday, February 7, he was disqualified from driving for three years and given a 12-month community order, requiring him to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, police say.

Police say he was also ordered to pay £425 costs, and a further £250 fine in relation to breaching a suspended sentence order for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, which occurred in January 2016.

Police say this was the second time in less than four years that Murphy has been sentenced for drink-driving, as he was also convicted of the offence in Sussex in April 2014.

A total of 195 arrests were made during Surrey and Sussex Police’s Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers between 1 December and 1 January.

Of these, 82 have so far been convicted. The remaining have either been charged, bailed, released under investigation or released without charge.

They include 51-year-old Richard Burgin, of Blackman Avenue, St Leonards, who was arrested in The Ridge, Hastings, on December 4. Police say he was charged with driving with 18mcg of cocaine and 652mcg of benzoylecgonine (the main metabolite of cocaine) per litre of blood in his system, driving with no insurance and driving with no licence.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on February 3, he was disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay a £240 fine, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.