Motorist was six times over drug drive limit

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court

A motorist who was six times the cocaine legal limit while driving through Wigan has been jailed for four weeks.

Magistrates told Jamie Russell, 34, he had put other road users and a passenger at risk after he was pulled over on Warrington Road, Worsley Mesnes.

Russell failed a roadside drugs test and was taken to Wigan Police Station to provide a blood sample, the Wigan court was told.

Steve Woodman, prosecuting, said the test showed he had 61 microgrammes of cocaine in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 10. And a check for benzoylecgonine, a cocaine metabolite, was 846 microgrammes: the legal limit is 50.

Mr Woodman said that when Russell was pulled over he was spoken to about not having car insurance. It then transpired he only had an expired provisional driving licence. It was then he was drug-tested.

Russell, of Kendal Drive, St Helens, was released on bail and later summonsed but failed to turn up at court. Then he was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for 11 and a half months after being convicted of going equipped for theft and breach of a suspended sentence.

Patrick Heald, defending, said his client had been unaware of the drug-driving proceedings as the summons had been sent to an obsolete address.

“The level of intoxicants in his system will give the court cause for concern when it measures any period of disqualification,” he added. But there were no clear indications, unlike with drink-driving, regarding how the level of cocaine within the defendant’s body would have affected his driving at the time, said Mr Heald.

Russell, who appeared via a video link from prison, admitted to two drug-driving offences and having no insurance or driving licence.

Magistrates ruled that their four-week prison term should only begin after he has served his crown court sentence. He was also banned from driving for 33 months.