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First Drug Driving Ban


A teenager has become the first person in Sussex to be convicted under a new drug-driving law.

Neil Scott-O’Connor was arrested at 12.50am on 7 March after his car was stopped in Nuthurst Place, Brighton.

Officers could smell cannabis inside the car and the 19-year-old, who also had a small bag of nine grammes of the drug on him, then tested positive for cannabis using a DrugWipe device.

The new screening devices began to be used on 2 March and allow officers to test drivers for both cannabis and cocaine, working in a similar way as a breathalyser does for alcohol.

A blood test then confirmed that he had 2.1 microgrammes of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol – the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – per litre of his blood. This was above the new driving limit over two microgrammes per litre of the compound.

He pleaded guilty to driving while having a controlled drug in his system and possession of cannabis when he appeared at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 13 May.

He was banned from driving for 12 months, fined £110 and ordered to pay £50 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. He was also made the subject of a 12-month conditional discharge.

Inspector Stewart Goodwin said:

Although this is the first conviction of its kind in Sussex, unfortunately it will not be the last.Drug-driving continues to be a problem across the country and we are determined that those who endanger people by taking drugs and getting behind the wheel are removed from the roads in the same way that drink-drivers are.

The changes in the law that came into force in March and the use of the DrugWipe equipment mean we can now more quickly and easily prove that a motorist is not fit to drive.Driving after taking drugs puts not just you but your passengers and everyone else on the roads in danger. We will not tolerate it.”

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

To keep up to date with officers looking for drink or drug drivers, follow #opdragonfly on Twitter.

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs call 999.

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