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Year in jail for drug-driver who crashed vehicle and left injured occupants high and dry

Nov 1, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
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Driver who fled a massive wreck and was later found hiding in nearby undergrowth had well over the legal limit for cannabis and cocaine in his system

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A 27-year-old man in the U.K. found to have cannabis and cocaine in his system has been sentenced to 12 months in jail after crashing a car and abandoning his two injured passengers while he hid nearby.

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This past June 12, the man “got behind the wheel of a car he wasn’t allowed to drive, without a licence or insurance, and under the influence of cannabis and cocaine,” notes a statement from the North Yorkshire Police (NYP). Driving far beyond the speed limit, the man crossed onto the opposite lane before crashing the Toyota Corolla into a roundabout in the village of Norton.

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Following the crash, he fled on foot and his teenage passengers, who were trapped and injured, were eventually able to free themselves from the wreckage and were helped by passing members of the public.

  1. A drug-driving charge in the U.K. can lead to a one-year driving ban, an unlimited fine, up to six months in prison and a criminal record. /

    Driver under investigation for drug driving gets caught drug driving

  2. Very much like the first incident, the car again smelled of cannabis smoke the second time, leading to another swab.

    Three times unlucky: Driver cited for drug driving three times in three weeks gets three-year driving ban

  3. Darren Michael Jones admitted he had smoked cannabis earlier in the evening after being stopped driving to a friend’s home. /

    Driver who earlier smoked weed hadn’t intended to drive, but needed to help a friend in need

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Though the driver, who was hiding in undergrowth adjacent to the road, was not initially seen, that changed when a police helicopter was sent in and the man was spotted.

NYP officers then arrested the man and brought him in to take a blood sample. The testing showed that “he was over twice the legal limit for cannabis and three times the limit for cocaine,” the statement points out.

The legal limit for THC in the U.K. is two micrograms per litre of blood and, if convicted, sparks a 12-month driving disqualification, per M.A.J. Law.

“Most other European countries have legal limits lower than ours, but most will only ban drivers for one to six months,” the firm notes, adding that although the minimum disqualification is a year, “many motorists are banned for longer.”

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Given that both cannabis and cocaine are illegal in the U.K., the penalty for driving with cocaine in one’s systems is the same as for weed.

Information from the government notes, however, that beyond the minimum, one-year driving ban, those convicted of drug driving can also be subject to an unlimited fine, up to six months in prison, a criminal record and the driving licences showing the conviction for 11 years.

Following the man pleading guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, drug driving and driving without a licence or insurance in August, he was sentenced this week to 12 months in jail and banned from driving for three years and six months.

Every decision made by the driver that day was wrong, the NYP’s Mark Patterson says in the statement. “Having seen the state of the car after the collision, I can honestly say it’s incredible that no one was more seriously injured. The outcome could have been very different,” Patterson points out.

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Noting that the goal is to keep people safe on the roads, “the sentence passed today will help with that, but I also want everyone to see the results of drug driving and other road traffic offences.”

It’s not the first time that cannabis and roundabouts (or traffic circles) have combined.

A 23-year-old woman in Newhaven, U.K. was caught on camera last November going against the flow of traffic at a roundabout, forcing other motorists to swerve out of the way, notes an article posted on Yahoo!

Pleading guilty to dangerous driver, she was recently handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, as well as ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation and activity requirement days and 120 hours of unpaid work.

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But most weed/roundabout encounters involve cannabis plants themselves, those that have been ditched, sprouted naturally or had a helping human hand.

In the fall of 2021, drivers on New Zealand’s Highway 3 had a little manoeuvring to do in Whanganui, after two boxes of cannabis, including two mature plants, were dumped right in the middle of the roundabout.

In May of 2020, again in the U.K., two huge cannabis plants were confiscated after they were found growing behind the signs of a roundabout in Rugeley, the Express & Star reported at the time.

And seven years ago in B.C., a full-grown cannabis was reported to be growing (and appearing to be quite healthy) in a roundabout in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Mount Pleasant.

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with feedback and story tips at thegrowthop@postmedia.com

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