Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
A driver with more than three times the allowable level of THC in his blood argues he was only on the road to go meet a friend who had a history of mental health issues when he was stopped by police this past June.
Appearing before magistrates, Darren Michael Jones admitted he had smoked cannabis earlier in the evening after being stopped driving to a friend’s home shortly after midnight on June 17, 2020, according to the Hereford Times.
After seeing the vehicle in the middle of lockdown, when few vehicles were on the road, police opted to stop Jones to carry out a document check. About a week later, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the strict lockdown measures would be eased beginning July 4, 2020.
The stop involving Jones precipitated a roadside drug test, which the driver failed. Prosecutors told the court that his blood test showed seven micrograms of THC per litre of blood, well beyond the legal limit of two micrograms per litre, Hereford Times reports.
According to M.A.J. Law, “this is the lowest legal limit for any drug” under Section 5A of the country’s Road Traffic Act. “If convicted, you would receive a 12-month driving disqualification,” M.A.J. Law reports.
Defending counsel Chris Read told the court Jones had been staying with a friend in Hereford and had smoked weed earlier that evening. Although Jones had not planned to drive, he felt he needed to after receiving “a phone call from a friend with mental health issues who asked him to come and see him,” Read said, as per Hereford Times.