Sussex Police Share Story of Injured Motorcyclist 11 Times Over Drug-Driving Limit to Raise Awareness.
SUSSEX Police have released a statement on Thursday, February 18 highlighting the dangers of driving while under the influence of drug or alcohol, in the hopes of raising awareness so people don’t make the same mistake and endanger their own life or others.
Neil Freeman was more than 11 times the drug-driving limit when he crashed and seriously injured himself in Hassocks.
Freeman had gone for a “quick ride”, having not ridden his black Suzuki for some time, when the incident occurred on May 17, 2020.
After attempting to overtake a van travelling northbound on the A273 London Road, he collided with the side of black Nissan Qashqai which was turning right into a garden centre.
Thankfully, the sole occupant in the Nissan was uninjured – despite the vehicle sustaining extensive damage – however, the incident has had a significant effect on him.
The force of the impact caused Freeman to be thrown from his motorcycle into the opposite carriageway. He suffered serious leg and head injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Freeman provided a sample of blood which revealed he had 565mcg of benzoylecgonine (the main metabolite of cocaine) per litre of blood in his system. The legal limit is 50mcg.
The 42-year-old, of The Acorns, Burgess Hill, was subsequently served a postal requisition to face a charge of drug-driving.
He pleaded guilty to the offence, and at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on February 3, he was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a £120 fine, £85 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.
Investigating officer, Sergeant Stacey Ellott, of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “It is clear that Freeman had a hugely significant level of drugs in his system, which may well have contributed to the collision. He failed to see the dangers on the road ahead of him, and as a result he crashed into a car and seriously injured himself. It is extremely fortunate he did not kill himself or someone else that day.
“Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can seriously impair your ability to drive safely, and that’s why there are very strict legal limits. If you’re caught driving while over the limit of drink or drugs, you can expect to face the full force of the law.
“These laws are in place to protect everyone, and we will continue to enforce the law as we strive to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads each year. Our priority is to keep everyone safe on our roads, and to deal robustly with those who compromise the safety of themselves and others.”
If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:
- Killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else;
- 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 costs;
- Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.
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