Drug-driver nearly nine times over limit banned after crashing car with child inside
PUBLISHED: 16:23 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:18 15 January 2020
A man has been banned from driving for more than three years after crashing his car with a child inside - whilst he was nearly nine times over the drug-drive limit.
Ross Madden, of Woodview Close in Bristol, was involved in a collision on the A133 Clacton bypass on Saturday, June 29 last year.
Both cars involved were significantly damaged and Madden's caught alight, but luckily no-one involved was seriously injured.
The 28-year-old gave positive readings for cocaine and cannabis whilst being nearly nine times over the drug-drive limit for benzoylecgonine, which is a substance found in cocaine.
Investigating officer Pc Thomas Raes, of Stanway Roads Policing Unit, said: "The tests revealed that Madden had a large amount of drugs in his system.
"One of these was a by-product of cocaine - meaning the drug may have been in his system for some time. He also had a large amount of cannabis in his system
"Fortunately no-one was seriously hurt in the collision that Madden was involved in and he has since been banned from driving for a lengthy period of time."
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Essex Police arrested more people in 2019 for drug-driving offences than in 2017 and 2018 combined.
In December alone there were 169 arrests - prompting the police to launch its first ever anti-drug driving campaign.
Inspector Rob Brettell, from Essex Police's serious collision investigation unit, has previously spoken about how the force wants to educate the public about the issue.
"There will be a number of those arrested over the course of 2019 who won't have felt impaired and may have last had drugs 24, 48, 72 hours before being stopped," he said.
"The fact is that drugs stay in your system and just because you don't feel stoned doesn't mean you're not over the drug driving limit.
"And as many of those who've been arrested will find out - if you're convicted of drug driving it means you'll lose your licence and that could have knock-on affects of losing your job and even your home."
Madden appeared at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, January 8, where he was ordered to pay £175 in costs, was banned from driving for 40 months and is required to complete an unpaid work requirement and a community order.
Pc Raes added: "This hopefully sends a strong message that drug driving is taken just as seriously as drink driving and will not be tolerated by us, or the courts."