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Wick sheriff sends out warning on drug driving

By Court Reporter

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Sheriff Andrew Berry.
Sheriff Andrew Berry.

Driving while under the influence of drugs is as dangerous as drink driving, a sheriff said this week.

Sheriff Andrew Berry made the comment after a driver admitted having driven with more than twice the permitted level of a drug.

Liam Farquhar had originally entered his plea by letter but was required to appear at Wick Sheriff Court personally.

The 30-year-old year was fined £325 and banned from driving for a year.

A faulty exhaust on Farquhar's vehicle attracted the attention of police on patrol around 11am on Sunday, June 20, on the A99 at Thrumster.

The accused gave a negative breath test but a drug test proved positive. A follow-up test revealed a level of 4.3mcg for Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol – the permitted legal level is 2mcg.

Fiscal David Barclay said that Farquhar told the police that he had not appreciated that the drug he had taken earlier had shown up in his system.

The fiscal went on: "I think it's something that many drivers are slow to realise and that new technology allows the amount of drugs to be calculated in an exact manner."

Sheriff Berry asked Farquhar, of Waverley Road, Wick: "Would you agree that this was a serious miscalculation on your part?"

Farquhar replied: "Yes".

The sheriff said that people consume drugs and drive a few hours later thinking they are within the law.

He also added: "Driving while under the influence of drugs is as dangerous as driving while under the influence of drink, and is also becoming more socially unacceptable."

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