Three year bans as two drug-drivers fail to learn from previous offences
A Suffolk man has been banned from the road for three years after getting behind the wheel while 14 times the legal driving limit for ketamine – a horse tranquilliser.
Colin Woodman’s Ford Fiesta was stopped following a police tip-off in Bury St Edmunds on December 15 – midway through an annual month-long Christmas drink and drug-driving campaign.
The 30-year-old was pulled over at about 4.10pm in Raynham Road and arrested following a positive saliva test – later followed by a further biological sample, which showed 276 microgrammes of ketamine per litre of blood – the legal limit being 20mcg.
Woodman, of Abbottsbury Road, faced an automatic ban of at least three years, having been convicted of drug-driving within the last 10 years, on December 23, 2011.
Admitting the latest offence at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, in Ipswich, he said: “I never intended to come back here.
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“I had a problem with ketamine use, which I had taken care of, but I used it again on this occasion.
“I didn’t use it in an abusive way, or for an addiction, and I hadn’t taken drugs in three months, but I stayed at a friend’s house and took it the night before being stopped.
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“I wish it hadn’t happened.
“I don’t think my driving was impaired at the time – or that I was stopped for that reason.
“I was surprised to find out I was that far over the limit, but the facts are the facts.”
Woodman was banned from driving for 36 months, fined £200, and ordered to pay £85 towards prosecution costs and a statutory £30 fee towards victim services.
He was followed in the dock by Edmund Gilbert, 33, of The Green, Risby, near Bury St Edmunds, who was caught with eight grammes of cannabis in his Vauxhall Astra and 7.8mcg of its derivative, delta-9-THC, in his blood – the legal limit being 2mcg.
Officers smelled cannabis emitting from the tree surgeon’s car when they stopped him in Etna Road, Bury St Edmunds, at about 9.50pm during the same campaign on December 6.
Solicitor Claire Lockwood told the court that Gilbert used the drug to self-medicate for depression, but understood he was committing an offence and admitted his guilt.
Gilbert was also banned for 36 month, having been disqualified for drink-driving in January 2016.
He was fined £230 for drug-driving and £50 for possession, plus costs and a victim surcharge.