Should the car have been impounded and license removed after first offence?

A motorist caught drug driving twice in five days has been disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Steven David Hicks, aged 37 and of Priory Road in West Moors, appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court today, Thursday 15 November 2018, to be sentenced after previously admitting two offences of drug driving at the same court.

He was also sentenced to a community order with a 20-day activity requirement, a drug rehabilitation requirement, 150 hours of unpaid work in the community and ordered to pay £85 in court costs.

On Saturday 12 May 2018 officers stopped a black Mercedes Vito in Stanfield Road in Poole. They spoke to the occupant of the vehicle, whose speech appeared slurred and a drug wipe was conducted.

Following a positive reading for cocaine, the defendant was arrested and a blood sample was taken in custody.

The sample was found to contain 22 micrograms of cocaine per litre of blood and more than 200 micrograms of benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, per litre of blood. The legal limits are 10 micrograms per litre of blood for cocaine and 50 micrograms for benzoylecgonine.

On Wednesday 16 May 2018 Hicks was stopped again in the same vehicle on Richmond Park Close in Bournemouth.

Again he appeared to be intoxicated and a roadside drug wipe was conducted. This also indicated a positive reading for cocaine and Hicks was arrested for a second time.

On this occasion the blood samples revealed readings of 40 micrograms of cocaine and 800 micrograms of benzoylecgonine – 16 times the legal limit.

Inspector Joe Pardey, of the traffic unit, said: “Anyone driving while under the influence of drugs poses a serious threat to other motorists and members of the public.

“The fact that Hicks was caught twice in such a short period demonstrates the risk he poses to other road users and I am glad that thanks to this sentence he will not be able to get behind the wheel for a considerable period of time.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the safety of road users in Dorset, our traffic officers and No Excuse Team will continue to carry out proactive patrols to target those drivers who are known to pose a significant threat of causing risk or harm to both themselves and others.

“We will also act on any intelligence or information provided to us by members of the public in relation to anyone who is believed to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

To report information about someone suspected of regularly driving under the influence of alcohol visit www.dorset.police.uk, email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or call 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

If you suspect someone is driving under the influence, dial 999 immediately.