Stirling Observer

Drug driver handed a ban


A man who drove in Bridge of Allan while under the influence of cannabis was this week banned from the road and ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Ben Paton, formerly of Tullibody, had admitted a charge of being in charge of a motor vehicle on Pendreich Road on November 17, 2021, while the proportion of Delta-9-tetrahydro­cannabinol – the principal psychoacti­ve constituen­t of cannabis – in his blood was 10mg per litre. The limit being 2mg.

The 25-year-old had further pleaded guilty to driving in Alloa the following month while the proportion of the drug in his blood was again 10mg per litre. Both offences were contrary to the Road Traffic Act and the Drug Driving (specified limits) (Scotland) regulation­s 2019.

Fiscal depute Sean Iles told Stirling Sheriff Court on Wednesday that a police officer spotted a motor car parked on Pendreich Road with its engine running and lights on at 7.20pm.

When the officer spoke to the driver he noticed a smell of cannabis. Mr Iles added:“the accused appeared under the influence of drugs.”

Asked to identify the driver, Paton said it was himself. He was then arrested.

Paton was taken to Falkirk Police Office where the proportion of Delta-9 cannabis in his blood was establishe­d.

Referring to the December 15, 2021, offence, Mr Iles said the attention of officers on mobile patrol had been drawn to a white Ford Fiesta van at 4.30pm. They spoke to the driver and were aware of a strong smell of cannabis.

Paton was taken into custody and a toxicology test carried out which found the proportion of THC per litre of blood to be 10mg.

Sheriff James Macdonald said that the two offences had been committed“alarmingly” within a narrow timeframe and emphasised that Paton had a similar 2016 previous conviction.

He disqualifi­ed Paton from driving for three years on the Bridge of Allan offence and six months on the Alloa offence.

Paton was also given a community payback order, comprising 120 hours’unpaid work to be completed within 12 months as well as 12 months’supervisio­n on the Bridge of Allan offence, and 80 hours’unpaid work and 12 months’supervisio­n for the Alloa offence. The disqualifi­cations and unpaid work terms were all to run concurrent­ly.

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