Author: Elle Gray-Thynne
A 23-year-old dad left his partners home in the middle of the night and set out on a six-minute drive to his parents’ address after arguing with his partner on November 13. South Tyneside Courts heard.
Syed Ali was then spotted by police swerving across lanes in Burn Park Road, near the University of Sunderland and was consequently pulled over.
Ali confessed to being four months into a year-long disqualification when breathalised on the side of the road, revealing he had 72mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, against a legal limit of 35mcg.
Magistrates ordered Ali to complete 140 hours of unpaid work under an 18-month community order and he must pay £156 victim surcharge and £85 court costs. He was also fined for failing to surrender to custody and banned from driving for a further 18 months.
Ali was pulled over a month before Northumbria police launched their new campaign to crack-down on drink/drug driving in the northeast. Even though this case was not part of the festive operation,
Northumbria police saw to it that 171 drivers were arrested for drink/drug driving or refusing arrest. With a total of 1,200 vehicles stopped and 700 motorists breathalysed over the Christmas period.
Northumbria Police told SGM when contacted:
This type of enforcement is carried out all year round, but targeted operations are carried out during busier social times of the year such as Christmas and New Year.
“Sergeant Glen Robson, from our Operation Dragoon team, is delighted with the results but still urges drivers to think before grabbing their keys.
He said: “It’s great to see the success of the campaign but it shows drivers are still taking very dangerous risks on the roads.
“It shouldn’t be underestimated how even one drink can have an impact on your reaction times and your ability to drive safely without putting your life or others at risk.
“Drinking and driving, or taking drugs and getting behind the wheel, is no joke.
“We’ve dealt with fatal incidents and incidents where people have had life changing injuries because people thought they would be ok to drive after one drink and it has come at the cost of someone’s life.”
Sgt Robson added: “I can’t urge people enough to take this seriously and think before you drink.