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WATCH video of drink-driver caught on M23 more than three times over legal limit

Police have released a video to highlight the dangers of drink-driving.

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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.

Lifestyle

Safety warning calls after two washing fires including one in Southgate, Crawley

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Firefighters are reminding householders of some simple safety steps when using electrical appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines.

It follows two incidents in two days.

In the first incident firefighters were called after a pile of folded washing caught fire after being tumble-dried over the weekend.

A crew from Bognor Regis Fire Station was mobilised at 01.56am on Saturday to reports of a fire in a home on Lion Road in Pagham.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the property was heavily smoked logged, but thanks to a working smoke alarm, the three occupants had been alerted and had been able to escape from the property.

The fire started after the home owner had washed and tumble-dried some towels earlier on in the evening. These were then stacked and put in a hessian type bag in the hallway. But in the early hours of the morning, the towels, which had self-heated, began to smoke and caught fire. Fortunately, the homeowner had a working smoke alarm.

Crews removed the towels to fresh air and extinguished them.

In the second incident  at 4.10pm on Sunday, firefighters were called to a washing machine fire in a first floor flat in Imperial Mews. Two appliances from Crawley and a Surrey Fire & Rescue Service crew from Salfords were mobilised. On arrival, firefighters wearing two sets of breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose reel and a CO2 extinguisher.

The fire damaged washing machine was removed from the property. Nobody was injured during the incident, but the property sustained smoke damage which meant the resident needed alternative accommodation for the night.

Simon Foster, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Performance Risk and Improvement Team Group Manager said:

“At this time of year, people are using their tumble dryers far more than at other times of the year.

“When taking clothes out of the tumble dryer, make sure you wait for laundry to cool down before putting it away. Oil residue and oxygenating chemicals from stain removing detergents can create a chemical reaction causing items like tea towels to self-heat, smoulder and could catch fire.

“Once clothes have cooled down, make sure you store them in a well-ventilated area.”  

The fire service is reminding people of the following safety tips when using electrical appliances:

•Look out for product recall notices.

•Register your appliance – appliances up to 12 years old can be registered on the Register My Appliance website.

•Don’t run appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers overnight or when you are out.

•Always read the manufacturer’s instructions.

•Have your appliance serviced by a qualified engineer.

•Do not put rags or materials into a tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids. You can find out more about home fire safety by visiting the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service website here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/electrical-and-heating-appliance-safety-advice/

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