More Christmas Drink And Drug Drivers Identified

Police are half-way through their summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.
However, that doesn’t mean they have forgotten about those who ruined Christmas…

A drug-driver who entered a village store in possession of a knife on New Year’s Eve has been convicted in court.

Police were called about 8.30pm on 31 December 2018 after a member of the public reported seeing a young man enter One Stop in North Lane, East Preston, with a knife tucked into his trousers.

He left the premises prior to officers’ arrival in a black Ford Fiesta, which was traced to an address in nearby Russell’s Close.

Officers attended and the man who answered the door was identified as Matt Coughlan, 22, unemployed, of that address. He admitted he had driven to One Stop, and claimed he entered the store in possession of a torch which he said was for protection. He was searched and no torch was found.

However, on searching his vehicle, officers discovered a knife measuring approximately 6” in the driver’s side door. The vehicle also had a strong smell of cannabis, and Coughlan was therefore required to take a DrugWipe test, which he failed. He was also found in possession of a small bag of white powder.

He was subsequently arrested and charged with driving with 6mcg of cannabis and 66mcg of MDMA per litre of blood in his system. The legal limits are 2mcg and 10mcg respectively. He was also charged with possession of a knife in public and possession of cocaine.
At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on 11 June, Coughlan was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

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.