Drink-driver also tested positive for cocaine

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A driver stopped just after midnight on Christmas Eve was over the alcohol limit and also had nearly twice the limit of a cocaine by-product in his system.

Burnley magistrates were told how Mohammed Umar (26) was pulled up by police on Haslingden by-pass in a spot check and they could smell drink on his breath.

He blew 41 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35. A blood test showed he had 92 microgrammes of benzoylecgonine per litre of blood. The limit is 50.

Unemployed Umar claimed he “didn’t feel he was guilty,” he had felt fine to drive and he was surprised to be in court. He said he had taken cocaine some days before.

The defendant, of Colne Road, Burnley, admitted driving with excess alcohol and driving with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit, last December 24th. He was fined £100, with a £30 victim surcharge and was banned for a year.

Mr John Rusius, defending, said Umar had never been before a court before. “That is something he very much regrets and it’s something of a surprise to him that he ends up in court.”

The defendant, who fully cooperated with the police, had had a couple of drinks at home. Mr Rusius said: “He was very close to the limit and he said he felt fine to drive.

Mr Rusius said benzoylecgonine was a non-active by-product of cocaine. He said: "The defendant had cocaine still in his system but its not active and it’s not affected him or his ability to drive in any way.”