Shortly before 6pm on Friday 3 May, police received several reports from members of the public concerned by a Kia Picanto being driven erratically on the eastbound carriageway at Shoreham.
Witnesses reported the vehicle travelling at 30mph in the 70mph zone, weaving between lanes, and at times driving half on the grass verge.
It also stalled on several occasions and caused a number of near-miss collisions.
After exiting at the Holmbush junction, the driver continued onto Old Shoreham Road and Buckingham Road, where she was stopped by officers.
The driver was identified as Rose Wilson, 54, a care worker, of Laines Road, Steyning.
She failed a roadside breath test, and was charged with driving with 135mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in her system. The legal limit is 35mcg.
Due to the severity of the offence, she was remanded in custody to appear before Brighton Magistrates’ Court the following day (Saturday), where she pleaded guilty to the offence.
She was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and disqualified from driving for 32 months. She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
PC Pete De Silvo, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: ‘Given the circumstances – Wilson was heavily intoxicated and was involved in several near collisions in a built-up area during rush hour – she clearly posed a significant risk to herself and other road users.
‘It was imperative we stopped her quickly, before a serious incident occurred, and we were able to do so thanks to reports received from members of the public.
'The manner of Wilson’s driving is a clear sign of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, and the consequences can be catastrophic.
‘Fortunately on this occasion, no one was hurt and one more drink-driver has been taken off the roads of Sussex.’
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.