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Portslade driver disqualified after drinking half a bottle of whisky because of fear of flying

Sussex Police said Graham Clark returned to the UK from his holiday abroad and then collected his car from Gatwick Airport on May 14 this year.

Police said the 40-year-old first drove to Selsey, and then drove from Selsey towards his home in Portslade.

But Sussex Police said other road users saw how he was driving erratically on the A27, including driving for several miles with a blown-out tyre.

A driver from Portslade who drank half a bottle of whisky because of his fear of flying has been disqualified, Sussex Police has reported. Picture courtesy of Sussex Police

Despite being more than twice the legal drink-drive limit, he later told police in custody: “You guys are treating me like I’m a criminal.”

At Worthing Magistrates’ Court on July 25, Clark admitted dangerous driving, and driving over the prescribed limit for alcohol, police added.

Police said he tested for 83 microgrammes (mcg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres (ml) of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Following the case, PC Tom Bezants from the Roads Policing Unit said: “Clark put his own safety and the safety of other road users at risk.

“Witnesses described seeing him driving with a glazed look on his face, completely unaware of his surroundings, as he drove with a blown-out tyre for several miles on the busy A27.

“He was seen swerving across the road, narrowly avoiding a collision with the central reservation.

“It should have been clear to him that he was in no fit state to drive a car.”

Clark, an engineer, of Abinger Road, Portslade, was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-week suspended prison sentence, police added. He must also complete five rehabilitation activity requirement sessions (RAR) and pay £85 costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

Sussex Police said he was disqualified from driving for two years and must take an extended retest before he is allowed to get his licence back.

PC Bezants added: “Drink and drug-driving is one of the fatal five factors that lead to people being killed or injured on our roads.

“Clark is very lucky that he did not cause a serious collision because of his driving. This case shows how serious this offence is and it demonstrates our determination to catch offenders who pose a risk to people’s safety.

“We are pleased that a dangerous driver has been taken off our roads.”

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