East Preston man to spend Christmas in prison after drink-driving conviction

Mindaugas Zilonis was convicted of drink-driving
Mindaugas Zilonis was convicted of drink-driving

An East Preston man is one of four Sussex drivers who will spend Christmas behind bars after being convicted of drink or drug-driving.

Police have increased patrols in the county as part of their annual Christmas crackdown, which runs from 1 December to 1 January.

As of Thursday (21 December), a total of 141 people were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving, according to police.

Of these, 60 have been charged and a further 15 already convicted.

Four motorists committed offences so serious they have been jailed, police said.

One of these was Mindaugas Zilonis, 39, a builder, of Saxon Close, East Preston, police said.

At about 8.10pm on Saturday, December 16, a silver Ford Focus was observed by an off-duty police officer swerving across the road, police said.

The vehicle stopped of its own accord in Woodcroft, Burgess Hill, and the officer approached the driver, who was identified as Zilonis.

Other officers attended and carried out a roadside breath test, which Zilonis failed, according to police.

He was arrested and charged with driving with 77mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, driving while disqualified and driving with no insurance, police confirmed.

He was previously disqualified from driving on 8 August for failing to provide information about a driver when requested to do so.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday, December 18, he was jailed for 30 days and sentenced to an 18-month ban, police saiid.

He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.