The pictures of drink-drivers caught in the Portsmouth area in police crackdown

DRIVERS caught swerving on the motorway, crashing in a ditch and so drunk they had to be carried out a car were handed fines and bans after a police crackdown.

Friday, 11th January 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th November 2019, 10:38 am
Police ran a crackdown in December on drink and drug-driving called Operation Holly. Pictured is: Harry Cockerill, 20, of Lion Grove, Holton, Grimsby, admitted driving while unfit through drink at Portsmouth Naval Base. Picture: (100119-5376)

Dozens of people have been caught under Hampshire police’s Operation Holly – targeting drink and drug-drivers throughout last month.

And yesterday at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court five people caught over the limit admitted their crimes.

Among them was mum-of-two Alexandra Phipps, 38, who wept in the dock before being fined £440 with £129 costs and a 28-month ban.

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Constantin Radu, 37, of Avenue Road, Gosport, admittted drink-driving in Meon Road in Fareham. Picture: (100119-5278)

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Prosecutor Liam Hunter revealed how she was spotted swerving in the road before officers tried to stop her.

But Phipps, of Rival Moor Road, Petersfield, increased her speed, went straight over a roundabout before hitting a raised island and eventually stopped on the roadside in Purbrook Road, Havant on December 22.

Mr Hunter said: ‘She had a mobile phone out. She herself did not actually get out from the vehicle. The police had to take her phone and cancel her call, and physically lift her out.

‘They asked her how much she had been drinking, she said “too much”. She was asked when she last drank. She said “two minutes ago”. Asked what it was, she said “too much”.’

Magistrates heard her boyfriend had been driving but a row broke out in the car and he went to walk to Asda, so she started driving after him.

The car only eventually stopped as she got too far from him and he had the electronic keycard for the vehicle, the court heard.

Sentencing, chairman of the magistrates’ bench Charlotte Carter said: ‘This offence is a serious one. You were more than twice the limit and you were driving in a dangerous manner, swerving and you struck something in Purbrook Road and had to be lifted out the car when the police did stop you.’

The single mum had 90 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The limit is 35.

Each year police run a Christmas month-long crackdown and by December 20 caught more than 50 drink and drug-divers in Hampshire.

On December 21 at 4.10pm officers were called to a crash in Meon Road, Fareham, after Constantin Radu, 37, of Avenue Road, Gosport, swerved on a bridge leaving his car submerged and him at the side of the road.

A breath test revealed he had 54 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. He was fined £300 with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs, and a year-long ban. He has no previous convictions.

The Romanian national told the court: ‘It’s my first thing out of the ordinary with the police here and in my country, this is my first time every with any fines or anything.’

Caught a day later was scaffolder Shaun Howie, 37, of Seaways Grove, Portchester, who was more than triple the limit at 110 microgrammes in breath.

The court heard he had been at a Christmas party before he later decided to move a van left by a colleague blocking the pavement and road.

He was caught moving the van by police who saw him nearly cause a crash in Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth.

Howie admitted drink-driving and was handed an interim ban while prosecutors work out whether he should be charged with driving while disqualified as he was banned for three years in February 2016.

He will be sentenced on January 17.

Royal Navy sailor Harry Cockerill, 20, of Grimsby, admitted driving while unfit through drink at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Magistrates heard he was travelling at around 40mph in a 20mph limit on the base. Police there stopped him and he was handed a two-year ban before being charged and brought to court.

Sentencing, the chairman said: ‘It’s a serious offence, I’m told that these roads are quite narrow, it’s 20mph for a reason and you were over the limit - you’re speeding so that’s an aggravating factor.’

The sailor was fined £400 with a £40 victim surcharge and £85 costs. The ban stops him driving on navy bases but does not apply to public roads, the court was told.

Traffic cop Sgt Rob Heard previously said: ‘Our message is plain and simple, please don’t take the risk.’

An earlier version of this story included an incorrect picture. We apologise for the error and any distress caused.