Driver was 14 times over drug driving limit, court hears

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A driver had more than 14 times the limit of a controlled drug in his system, Burnley magistrates heard.

The court was told how Lee Anthony Shine (39) was found with three large dustbin bags of cannabis plants in his Subaru Impreza car after he was seen by police overtaking other vehicles at speed. He appeared to be under the influence of something.

Self-employed builder Shine was tested and was found to be below the cannabis limit for driving, but had 703 microgrammes of benzoylecgonine - the main metabolite of cocaine - per litre of blood in his body. The specified limit is 50.

The defendant, of Gisburn Street, Barnoldswick, admitted possessing cannabis and driving on Park Road, Barnoldswick, when a proportion of a controlled drug exceeded the specified limit, on July 10th.

Shine, a father-of-two, was fined £250, with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge. He was also banned for a year.

Prosecutor Mr Andrew Robinson said a police officer could smell cannabis when he spoke to Shine.

The defendant accepted he had had a joint 10 minutes earlier, but he was under the cannabis limit for driving.

Police discovered the cannabis plants in the bags and Shine was arrested.

Mr Robinson said: “The defendant told police ‘I got in with a wrong crowd. I was transporting the cannabis for them’. He admitted possessing drugs. Shine was found to be below the driving level for cocaine.”

Mr Glen Smith (defending) said Shine had been visiting friends. The drugs in the bin bags were twigs that he was disposing of for somebody else.

Mr Smith said: “They were not viable plants as such. They were basically rubbish.”

Mr Smith said police saw the defendant overtaking at speed. He added: “It’s not suggested that he was causing either inconvenience or in fact beyond that.”