Drug drive dad caught speeding on M65 motorway with child in car

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A drug-drive dad caught speeding on the motorway in Burnley had his eight-year-old child in the car, a court was told.

Ashley Maher, who had been taking the youngster to see their mum in Keighley, gave a positive drugs swipe and at the police station a test revealed he was almost twice the cannabis derivative limit.

Burnley magistrates were told how 33-year-old Maher had served time behind bars, the child had been born when he was inside, but he now had custody of the youngster.

Miss Catherine Allan (prosecuting) said police saw a BMW driving in what they considered to be in excess of the speed limit on the M65 at 4-20pm.

Maher was stopped, police suspected he might be under the influence of drugs and he admitted regular use of cannabis. The child was taken to await the arrival of their mother and the defendant was taken to custody at Blackburn Police Station.

A blood test showed 3.8 microgrammes of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per litre of blood. The amount allowed is two.

The hearing was told the defendant had a record for drugs, but had not been before the court since 2012.

Mr Philip Turner (defending) said Maher told the police he had smoked cannabis two days before. "He said he had no idea he would be over the limit. He thought it would have dissipated from his bloodstream by then."

"He doesn't take cannabis anymore. His child relies on him and he puts them first. He cooperated with the police throughout and he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity."

Maher, of Shawbrook Road, Leyland, admitted driving with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit, on January 11th. He will be sentenced on July 2nd and was given an interim driving ban.