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Drunk hit-and-run driver who hit cyclist was on bail for previous drink driving offence

Sonal Shah was four and a half times over the legal limit when she hit cyclist from behind, breaking the rider's leg...

A drunk driver who crashed into a cyclist while four-and-a-half times over the legal limit for alcohol then fled the scene was on bail for a previous drink-driving offence, a court has heard.

The cyclist sustanined injuries including a broken leg when she was struck behind by Sonal Shah, who was driving a Land Rover Freelander, near Steyning, West Sussex on 13 November last year, reports The Argus.

When police tracked down Shah's vehicle near to the scene of the crash and breath-tested her, she was found to have a reading of 153 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35 micrograms  per 100 millilitres of breath.

Worthing Magistrates' Court heard that Shah is undertaking treatment for mental health issues and alcohol addiction.

She was handed a 17-week suspended sentence and told to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work as well as 10 rehabilitation sessions with the probation service.

PC Ant Baker, of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “We hope this sentencing serves as a warning to anyone who thinks about driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“It is a serious offence with serious consequences and we will actively target those road users who choose to put others at risk.”

A Sussex Police spokesperson added: “Drink and drug-driving is one of the five most common causes of fatal and serious injury collisions on our roads, along with speeding, mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt and careless driving.

“We will continue to work with partners, providing education and enforcement 365 days a year, in a bid to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads, and to crack down on offenders.

“If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences.”

Shah was also banned from driving for five years.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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