A 24-year-old man from Stockport has narrowly avoided jail after being caught over the drug driving limit for three different drugs.
Manchester Magistrates Court heard how the man had taken cocaine, ketamine, and the synthetic stimulant M-Cat before crashing into a row of seven parked cars while trying to drive away from his then-girlfriend with whom he had been arguing.
Officers called to the scene of the crash described the project engineer as “incapacitated” behind the wheel of his car in the Didsbury area of the city.
Prosecutors told the court that the man was over the legally prescribed limit for all three drugs.
For cocaine, he had 14mcg per litre of blood, where the legal limit is 10. For M-Cat he was found to have 389mcg against the limit of 50mcg and for ketamine 330mcg per litre of blood where the legal limit is 20mcg.
The court heard that while the man used drugs on a daily basis he had taken more than usual in the run-up to the accident. He also has two previous convictions for possession of illegal drugs.
In addition to three charges of drug driving, he was also charged with driving with no insurance and failing to notify a change of address.
Defending, Damian Mullarkey said: “What I can’t get away from here is the three different and separate drugs in his system at the time of driving.
“I’m no mathematician but I have worked out he was at least 12 or 13 times the limit on both drugs.”
Stating that his client is well paid and that he is “required to travel internationally on a frequent basis” he said that “He can afford, rightly or wrongly, to fund that habit”.
Mr Mullarkey also told the court that the defendant had incurred “significant” debts and had not told his employers of his conviction.
He took the drugs to cope with the stress at work and was “petrified” of them finding out.
“He is in a good job. He has very good prospects. He has a career for life if you permit him to continue his employment.
“This is not somebody who is a cocaine addict or a heroin addict. He has an addiction to what appears to be recreational drugs.”
Mr Mullarkey continued to appeal for a suspended sentence, saying his client would “lose everything” should he be sent to jail.
The man was sentenced to three months in jail, suspended for 18 months, as well as ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work with a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement. He was also banned from the roads for 30 months.
Chairman of the Bench Michael Dunston said: “The people of Manchester need protection against this type of drug driving.
“You are very lucky that people weren’t killed. This sort of behaviour won’t be tolerated.”
“You have been extremely fortunate today.”
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