A young motorist says he has stopped smoking cannabis after he was caught driving under the influence of the drug on New Year’s Eve.
Dylan Parmar’s legal representative told Leicester Magistrates’ Court he no longer smoked the drug, despite having used it occasionally for pain relief.
Police spotted the 22-year-old driving 'erratically’ in the Blackbird Road area of Leicester and stopped him for questioning, prosecutor Stacey Mills said.
Initially he told officers he had drank alcohol 30 minutes earlier and was asked to take a breath test.
His reading of 31mg per 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35mg.
Who has been before the judge?
Want court updates – plus breaking news alerts – direct to your inbox? Then sign up to our free email newsletter!
All you need to do is type your email address into the 'sign up to free daily alerts’ box. It’s at the top of this article.
Click 'subscribe’ and you can expect your first newsletter at the next release.
Alternatively, click here to sign up online.
Ms Mills said the Leicestershire Police officers had also detected the smell of cannabis coming from the car, so they asked Parmar whether he used the drug.
He replied that he did not, and the officers told him they were going to search his car.
Ms Mills added: „When asked if there was any cannabis in his car, he replied there was a ‘zoot’ – a joint – in the vehicle but he did not say where it was.”
The officers then found a shoulder bag which contained a small amount of cannabis, a number of grinders – which are used to prepare the drug for rolling – and a set of scales under the driver’s seat.
Parmar, of Woodville Road, off Hinckley Road, Leicester, said they did not belong to him, Ms Mills said.
A roadside test showed he had cannabis in his system and he was taken into custody where a further test gave a reading of 2.8mg of the drug per litre of blood. The legal limit is 2mg.
He then told officers he smoked cannabis occasionally to alleviate back pain and to manage his asthma.
His barrister Simon Collingham told the court: “He is a young man of 22 years of age who is of previous good character – and he now stands to lose that good character.
„It’s important to note that he no longer uses cannabis.
„This was an extremely poor error of judgement.
„Having spoken to him, I’m quite confident this is a young man you will not see before the courts again in any way, shape or form.”
Magistrate Caroline Clifton told him: “It is gratifying to hear you learned your lesson from this.
„Clearly, driving under the influence of drugs puts other people, not only yourself, in danger.
„It is completely unacceptable.”
He was disqualified from driving for a year, fined £298 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £32 and prosecution costs of £85.