COUNTY NEWS: Police footage shows ‘terrifying’ driver dancing on roundabout

Image taken from police video. SUS-151206-162445001
Image taken from police video. SUS-151206-162445001

A ‘dancing driver’ has been banned from the roads after police caught him dancing on a roundabout, claiming he was on his way to Stonehenge.

A Sussex police statement says Arkan Al-Asad was seen by passers-by driving 5mph on the A27 in Worthing before he stopped his car on the Grove Lodge roundabout in the town.

When police arrived at 2.15am on June 22 last year, loud music was blaring out from the Renault Megane and Al-Asad was dancing alongside it and waving his arms in the air.

The car’s engine was still running.

Footage recorded by the officers’ body-worn cameras showed the 41-year-old had slurred speech, glazed eyes and seemed to be struggling to answer their questions.

According to police, Al-Asad said he had been driving for two hours and was trying to make his way to Stonehenge but was lost.

He was arrested because the officers thought he was on drugs but when Al-Asad was taken into custody he refused to let officers take a sample of blood to be analysed so he was charged with that offence instead.

Al-Asad, of Bower Place, Maidstone, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen for analysis and driving without a licence when he appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on June 5.

He was banned from driving for 18 months, fined £165 and ordered to pay £620 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas said: “Anyone who watches the footage should be able to see that Al-Asad was in no fit state to drive.

“It shows the terrifying condition that some people that we pull over in Sussex are in. His driving had been erratic before he stopped and he could have easily caused an accident.

“The fact that he refused to give us a sample that would have proven one way or another whether he was on drugs also did not save him from a driving ban as the magistrates took a very dim view of his behaviour.

“Thankfully members of the public saw Al-Asad before he caused an accident and I would urge anyone else who sees someone driving dangerously to call us on 999 as soon as they can so that we can take action.”

Of the 119 people to have been charged as part of the June 2014 campaign, 114 have been convicted of offences so far. The remaining five are still being dealt with by the courts.

As part of Operation Dragonfly, road policing unit officers are on dedicated patrols looking for offenders.

Teams are responding to tip-offs from members of the public who see someone they know has been drinking getting into a car to drive.

Stop checks are also being set up at locations across Sussex and Surrey, in particular at locations where there is intelligence that there has been a history of drink-driving.

In previous campaigns, the forces have named those charged with drink or drug-driving offences that were committed during the month-long crackdown.

In addition, this year the forces will be releasing footage of convicted offenders that shows the state they were in when they got behind the wheel - and how important it is that they are banned from the roads before they hurt anyone.

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

To keep up to date with officers looking for drink or drug drivers, follow #opdragonfly on Twitter.

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs call 999.

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