Driver pulled over on A923 had drugs in system
A Perthshire man has been fined a three-figure sum and banned from the roads for ‘drug-driving’.
In one of the first cases of its kind to be dealt with at Perth Sheriff Court under new legislation, a hearing was told Richard Sorokaniuk was pulled over by police shortly after 5pm on the A923 Coupar Angus Road, near Rosemount, because he was speeding.
But officers then detected a
“strong smell” of cannabis coming from the vehicle.
“He was required to provide a saliva test,” stated depute fiscal Sarah Wilkinson.
“It tested positive for cannabis and at 6.47pm a sample of blood was taken.”
It was analysed and subsequently showed he had been behind the wheel with more than three times the legal limit of the class B drug in his system.
The accused, of Glenalmond Road, Rattray, admitted driving on November 17, 2019, with more than the permitted proportion of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinoil in his blood.
The level of the illegal substance was 6.1 microgrammes, well over the permitted amount of two microgrammes.
Solicitor Mike Tavendale said: “He previously had a bit of an alcohol problem which unfortunately resulted in unfortunate behavioural traits.”
As a substitute for drinking, he had started taking cannabis.
The court was told that had “improved his behaviour greatly” but ironically had resulted in him appearing in court.
‘Drug-driving’ has been an offence in England for the past five years but cases were only now beginning to be dealt with in Scotland in the wake of the legislation coming into force in October last year.
Imposing a £500 fine and a 12-month driving ban, Sheriff Neil Bowie said: “Clearly the legislation is there for a good reason because ingesting controlled substances leads to an impaired ability to drive.”
The sheriff said it was “much like alcohol” but not directly analagous.
He added: “Nevertheless, you were over the prescribed limit for these controlled substances and you were stopped for speeding.
“There was a smell of cannabis and police immediately detained you.”