A drink and drug driver who rolled his vehicle upside down and then abandoned his passenger has been sentenced.
Joshua Biggs was approaching the A27 near Arundel when he lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree at about 11.30pm on January 28.
His car then rolled down into a ditch, but the 31-year-old managed to get free from the wreckage.
But he left his passenger in the vehicle, and made no attempt to either help him or to get help for him.
Police stopped Biggs as he was seen walking along the carriageway half a mile away, and he was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
PC Ant Baker from the Roads Policing Unit investigated the case, and said Biggs’s behaviour shows the selfish mindset of those who drink alcohol or take drugs then get behind the wheel.
Biggs provided a positive roadside breath test, showing 51 microgrammes (mcg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres (ml) of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.
Later he gave a positive blood sample for alcohol in his blood. The blood test also revealed he had cannabis in his system above the drug-driving limit.
Biggs, unemployed, of Cheviot Close, East Preston, appeared before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on August 5 where he admitted driving over the prescribed limit for alcohol and driving over the prescribed limit for a class B drug.
He was disqualified from driving for three years, and the court ordered him to complete 120 days of alcohol abstinence as part of a ten-week suspended prison sentence.
Speaking after the case, PC Baker said: “Drink and drug driving is a serious offence with serious consequences. Biggs decided to get behind the wheel of a car under the influence of drink and drugs, with no regard for other people’s safety.
“He crashed his vehicle just before joining the A27 and managed to get himself out of the wreckage, and was then seen by members of the public calling out to his passenger who didn’t reply.
“The passenger was still trapped inside the vehicle, but rather than call for emergency services to help, Biggs decided to flee the scene, leaving his passenger in the crashed vehicle.
He was located by police around half a mile from the collision scene walking away.
“This demonstrates the kind of selfish mindset that it takes to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“These are the types of people we spend our time trying to remove from the road before incidents like this happen. We are determined to catch offenders and to stop them causing harm on to themselves or other road users.
“The sentence handed to Biggs reflects the serious nature of the offence and his actions at the scene and serves as a deterrent to others who may consider committing these offences.
“We are pleased that another dangerous motorist has been taken off our roads.”
Drinking or taking drugs and then driving is one of the “fatal five” factors that lead to people being killed or seriously injured on our roads.
The other factors are excessive speed, failure to wear a seat belt, being distracted while driving such as by using a mobile phone, and careless or inconsiderate driving.