A Wantage man is among the first 31 people convicted of drink and drug-driving offences following a rave in Sussex.

Dane Sheridan, 37, of Windmill Place, Wantage, was charged with driving with 363mcg of benzoylecgonine per litre of blood in his system.

At Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 10 December he was disqualified from driving for 14 months and ordered to pay a £200 fine, £85 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Around 2,000 people descended upon Steyning for an unlicensed music event in June.

Oxford Mail:

Picture Sussex Police

Police made around 90 arrests after attending the scene and intercepting motorists in Bostal Road and the surrounding areas overnight on 27 and 28 June.

Of these, 31 have so far been convicted in court, and a number of others are awaiting dates with magistrates as the investigation continues.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “I find it unbelievable that despite repeated warnings issued by ourselves and other forces around the country, a number of people still think it is acceptable to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of drink or drugs.

“These people are not only risking their own lives, they are also risking the lives of other innocent road users.

“Given the sheer number of drink and drug-drivers in Steyning that evening, it’s extremely fortunate no one was killed or seriously injured on our roads. But it only takes one person to take a life.

“It is particularly concerning that the vast majority of attendees had come from Devon, Somerset, Wales and beyond, and were prepared to travel great distances while high on drink or drugs.

“I’d like to commend the swift response of our Roads Policing Unit and Neighbourhood Response Teams who worked together to cut off the roads surrounding the site. This ensured we were able to detain dozens of offenders and bring them to justice.”

A number of vehicles were seized following the ‘rave’, as well as equipment including speakers, staging, lights and generators.

And police have warned that any other mass gatherings of unlicensed events will not be tolerated, and anyone who attends or organises these events can expect to face robust action.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Paul Tonks, added: “A huge number of officers and staff from Sussex Police and neighbouring forces were committed to this operation, and we continue to gather evidence as the investigation continues.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for their efforts, and I’d also like to thank the local community who were disrupted by this incident but remain committed to working with us to seek justice.”

The investigation continues.