Police have released a video to highlight the dangers of drink-driving.
The dash cam footage shows a van driver – who was more than three times the legal limit – driving almost entirely on the hard shoulder of the M23 southbound. He was also witnessed veering from side to side on several occasions before being stopped by officers.
The Citroen Despatch was reported by a member of the public, who saw it being driven erratically on the motorway, near Crawley, on the evening of Tuesday 25 June.
Police located the vehicle and detained the driver shortly afterwards. He was identified as Konrad Krzywonos, 39, a plumber, of Comptons Court, Horsham.
After failing a roadside breath test, the suspect was arrested and charged with driving with 124mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system. The legal limit is 35mcg.
At Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 24 July, Krzywonos was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and disqualified from driving for 30 months. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.
Sergeant Vicki Rees, of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “The manner of driving evidenced in this video falls far below the expected standard of a competent driver.
“By getting behind the wheel while over the drink-drive limit, Krzywonos has taken a significant risk – not only did he pose a real risk to himself that day, he also posed a risk to all other road users.
“Drink and drug-driving is hugely irresponsible, and unfortunately we see all too often how it destroys lives on roads in Sussex – and elsewhere in the UK.
“Our main priorities are to keep people safe on our roads and to crack down on offenders, and anyone caught committing such offences will be dealt with robustly.
“I’d like to thank the member of the public who brought this defendant to our attention, and I’d continue to encourage anyone who suspects someone to be driving under the influence of drink or drugs to report it to us.”
Krzywonos was among 83 people arrested as part of Surrey Police and Sussex Police’s summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers, which ran from 24 June to 7 July.
Of these, 29 have so far been convicted in court; the remaining have either been charged, released under investigation or released without charge.
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
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