| 3.4°C Belfast

Rogue drivers face Twitter ordeal


Motorists could be named and shamed on Twitter if they fail breath tests

Motorists could be named and shamed on Twitter if they fail breath tests

Motorists could be named and shamed on Twitter if they fail breath tests

Police will tweet about people stopped on suspicion of drink or drug-driving as part of a campaign to cut the number of rogue motorists in the run-up to Christmas.

Throughout December, Sussex and Surrey police officers will disclose details on Twitter, including when and where motorists were pulled over for the alleged offences.

Those who are charged with drink or drug-driving offences can then expect to be publicly "named and shamed" as part of the forces' joint Christmas offensive.

Warning posters will be put up where people were arrested during last year's festive campaign in a further effort to deter offending on the roads.

And people are being invited to text officers with details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving or by visiting the website www.operationcrackdown.co.uk

Sergeant Jane Derrick, the head of roads policing across Sussex and Surrey, said there remained a "small minority" of motorists who refused to believe the law applies to them.

Last December, 211 motorists were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving in Sussex, with 135 of them so far being convicted of offences. Another five are still going through the courts.

In a further move to get rogue drivers off the roads quickly, extra time is being set aside at Crawley Magistrates' Court in West Sussex to deal with those charged from tomorrow.

It could result in charged motorists being banned from the roads within 10 days of them being caught, according to a police spokesman.

Sgt Derrick said: "There is often a delay of a matter of weeks between an individual being charged and them appearing in court.

"But these slots mean those charged with offences early in December could be dealt with by magistrates and banned from the roads in time for Christmas.

"There is no excuse for driving while over the limit or after taking drugs but there remains a small minority who refuse to believe that the law applies to them."

To illustrate the campaign, Sussex Police has released video of Jason Fray, 29, who was arrested at 2.30am on December 20 last year after officers found him parked next to the A29 at Billingshurst.

As officers suspected him of drug-driving, he was ordered to prove he was fit to drive by carrying out basic tasks, including walking in a straight line and standing on one leg.

Fray, of Rascals Close, Southwater, was convicted of being in charge of a vehicle while unfit through drugs. He was banned from driving for four months, fined £250 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £25 victim surcharge.