Drug-driver was nearly three times over limit

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH - KAREN BRIT­TON

AMAN who drove af­ter tak­ing co­caine has been hauled be­fore the courts.

Dar­ren Peter Green, 49, was slur­ring his words, un­able to stay still, and had di­lated pupils when he was stopped by po­lice in his car on Park Green in Mac­cles­field, mag­is­trates heard.

A road­side drug test showed he had nearly three times the le­gal driv­ing limit of co­caine in his sys­tem.

And when Green, of Tyther­ing­ton Drive, Mac­cles­field, un­der­went a blood test, it showed he had nearly 40 times the le­gal limit of chem­i­cal ben­zoylec­go­nine, a me­tab­o­lite made by the body af­ter tak­ing co­caine which stays in the body for longer.

Deb­bie Byrne, pros­e­cut­ing, said: “Of­fi­cers stopped the de­fen­dant on Park Green and he was un­der the in­flu­ence of sub­stances.

“He was slur­ring his speech, un­able to stay still, his eyes were di­lated and he ap­peared sleepy.

“A road­side drug test tested pos­i­tive for co­caine. A blood test showed 27 nanogrammes of co­caine in a litre of blood when the le­gal limit is 10, and 1,892 nanogrammes of ben­zoylec­go­nine when the le­gal limit is 50. Both are a con­trolled drug so there is a se­cond charge.”

De­fend­ing, John Gal­lagher said: “This was a sim­ple stop check. There was no in­con­sid­er­ate driv­ing, speed­ing or swerv­ing in the road.”

He added that Green had pleaded guilty to two charges of drug driv­ing both re­lat­ing to the same in­ci­dent, but ques­tioned the need of the charge re­lat­ing to the by-prod­uct.

He said: “There is an­other case com­ing up later when ben­zoylec­go­nine was present be­cause the per­son had taken co­caine but a few days pre­vi­ously.

“In that case co­caine was not present but the by-prod­uct was.”

Mag­is­trates fined Green £120, £85 court costs and £20 vic­tim sur­charge and banned him from driv­ing for 40 months.

Chair­man of the bench Vir­ginia Platt said: “This is up from three years be­cause of the high level of drugs in your sys­tem.”

Lau­ren Costello, district crown pros­e­cu­tor for Mersey-Cheshire Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice, said it was a high read­ing for ben­zoylec­go­nine, adding: “He was charged with the two of­fences be­cause the law creates sep­a­rate of­fences for the ac­tive and the byprod­uct of co­caine.

“This is be­cause co­caine metabolises very quickly and the by-prod­uct doesn’t, so plac­ing two charges avoids some­one seem­ing less in­flu­enced than they might have been at the time of driv­ing.”

‘He was slur­ring his speech’

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