Gareth Hemingway was driving a Renault Scenic, whilst being almost twice the drink-drive limit, when it collided with a tree and a telegraph pole. The collision occurred on the A286 at Singleton, near Chichester, at about 2.30am on Monday 22nd January.
Heminway was found along with his female passenger at a bus stop about a quarter of a mile from the scene, and initially denied any responsibility.
The driver later admitted to the offence after PC Paul House was led to where the pair were by his police Dog Vinnie. Luckily both driver and passenger were unharmed.
PC House said: “I arrived at the scene of the crash and took PD Vinnie to the vehicle, where he could associate himself with any scents. I then cast him away from the scene and he almost immediately indicated a track south along the road and verges of the A286.
“He continued to track to a bus stop in the village, approximately a quarter of a mile from the crash scene, but didn’t track any further. Arresting officers confirmed this is where the driver and his passenger were located, and this tracking evidence contributed to the investigation.”
Hemingway, a 37-year-old unemployed man, of Manor Farm Court, Selsey, was arrested directly and charged with driving with 69mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.
On Tuesday February 6th he appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court. He was disqualified from driving for 20 months and additionally fined £339. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £33 victim surcharge.
Officer PC Anthony Williams, of the Chichester Response Unit, who arrested Hemingway, said: “Hemingway’s decision to drive while almost twice the legal limit was extremely irresponsible, and it’s a decision he no doubt regrets.
“While the risks associated with drink or drug-driving are well documented, passengers also have a degree of responsibility, and we would advise them never to travel with a driver they suspect to be under the influence of drink or drugs.”
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.
Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.