Skip to main content

Ban for drink-driver who crashed into 14 parked cars

News   •   Apr 24, 2019 11:33 BST

A drink-driver who crashed into 14 parked cars in Eastbourne has been convicted in court.

Police were called to the incident in Sydney Road shortly after 9.30pm on 5 January.

Officers attended and discovered damage to numerous vehicles, two of which were hit so hard they had spun around and were facing the opposite way in the middle of the road. A garden wall was also demolished.

Shortly afterwards, a witness reported seeing a man pull up at an address in Beatty Road in a damaged Land Rover.

After there was no answer at the flat in question, police forced entry and found the suspect inside.

He was identified as Graham Allen, a removals operative, of Beatty Road, Eastbourne.

The 56-year-old was arrested and charged with driving with 71mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system (the legal limit being 35mcg); and being the driver of a vehicle whereby an accident occurred and damage was caused to 14 vehicles and a wall, and failed to stop.

In police interview, Allen stated he had been out drinking with friends, but did not count the number of drinks he had consumed. He claims he intended to retrieve his coat from his vehicle, but then decided to drive in a “moment of madness”.

He pleaded guilty to both offences at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 17 April, where he was disqualified from driving for 20 months and sentenced to a 12-month community order, requiring him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. He was also fined £450, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.

Sergeant Vicki Rees, of the East Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is extremely dangerous and it can have dire consequences. Last year in Sussex, a total of 74 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of a collision involving a drink-driver.

“The level of damage caused in this case was clearly extensive, and had there been a pedestrian or a cyclist in the road at the time, it could have been a whole different story.

“Receiving a criminal conviction for drink or drug-driving can have a sobering effect on offenders, who often express remorse for their actions. However, the dangers of drink or drug-driving are well documented, and it shouldn’t take a court appearance to make them realise that.

“Our message is clear – drink OR drive; never both.”

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;

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.

Author: Sam Satchell
Ref: SXP54562/2019

NEWSDESK NOTES:

Kindly note the officer in charge is not available for interview.

IMAGE LICENSING NOTE: The image(s) provided remain(s) the property of Sussex Police or to a third party who has agreed to its/their release.

It/they is/are provided for the explicit purpose of journalistic coverage and commentary, in the public interest, in relation to the featured event.

You are granted limited licence to use the material for this purpose for 90 days from the date it is provided. You may also re-distribute it for this purpose at zero cost to the receiver, provided it is clearly marked as belonging to Sussex Police and this notice remains.

You may include our material as part of a wider package of journalistic content that is paid for by the receiver – for example a court report or feature article – provided that the material owned by Sussex Police is clearly marked as such, this notice remains and our material is supplemented by content of additional value produced by you.

Re-distribution of this material for profit in breach of the terms above, use for any purpose other than that expressed above or archiving of this material for future use is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Sussex Police.

Requests for use outside of these terms should be sent to media.hq@sussex.pnn.police.uk.