Man arrested on A259 after drink-driving in the dark without lights on

A Bognor Regis man spent Christmas Day in custody after drink-driving in the dark whilst delivering his children’s presents.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 11:44 am
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 11:55 am

Sean Wooldridge, of Linden Road, caught the attention of patrolling police officers on the A259 at Rustington on Christmas Eve.

Sussex Police said driving in the dark without any lights on 'wasn’t the brightest idea' by the 37-year-old salesperson, who was stopped and spoken to at 10pm.

The defendant confessed to having had two pints of beer before getting behind the wheel – 'a decision he was soon to regret', police said.


A spokesperson added: "He also had several wrapped presents in the car, which he said he was hoping to deliver to his children in time for Christmas.

"A roadside breath test revealed he had 46mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system. The legal limit is 35mcg.

"He was subsequently arrested and charged, and pleaded guilty to the offence."

At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on March 9, Wooldridge was disqualified from driving for three years. He was also fined £120, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Wooldridge was among 212 people arrested by Sussex Police during its Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers, which ran from December 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

"This dedicated operation – aimed to provide education and enforcement to motorists – was run in addition to our routine roads policing activity, 365 days a year," the police spokesperson said.

"Of those arrested, 42 have since been convicted in court. The remaining have either been charged, released under investigation or released without charge."

Police warned that, if you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, 'prepare to face the consequences'.

These could include the following; killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else; 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 costs 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.