A cocaine-fuelled traffic safety officer has admitted drug-driving in Derbyshire

A cocaine-fuelled traffic safety officer admitted drug-driving after police found him parked in his car in a Derbyshire layby.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 4:34 pm
Chesterfield magistrates' court

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on November 13 how Peter Harris, 33, of Ten Acre Road, at Kimberworth Park, Rotherham, was found in his Mercedes car on the A621 Sheffield Road, at Baslow, near Owler Bar.

Prosecuting solicitor Lyn Bickley said: “Police attended Owler Bar roundabout due to a report of someone sat in a vehicle in a layby and there was concern for their welfare.

“Police arrived and found Harris parked in a vehicle on the A621 Sheffield Road, at Baslow, and he was in a Mercedes and the keys were in the ignition.”

Ms Bickley added that when police first spoke to Harris he was incoherent but after five minutes he said he had not slept for three days and he had taken a large amount of cocaine a number of days previously.

Harris failed a drug swipe test and after a blood analysis he registered 800 microgrammes of the cocaine derivative benzoylecgonine per litre of blood when the legal limit is 50 microgrammes per litre of blood.

The defendant admitted to police that he had been taking cocaine and had driven and parked in a layby and after pulling up he said he had not taken any further drugs.

Harris, who is previous good character, pleaded guilty to exceeding the specified drug-drive limit after the incident on July 14.

Defence solicitor James Riley said that only one type of drug was found in Harris’s system and he had not been stopped because of the manner of his driving.

Mr Riley added that Harris was charged with drug-driving after he had admitted driving after taking drugs.

Harris had been struggling to cope due to personal family issues, according to Mr Riley, including the death of his father who had suffered with cancer.

Mr Riley said: “He fully accepts using cocaine as a form of crutch.

“He’s been taking cocaine and going to laybys in remote areas to avoid taking it in front of his wife at home.

“His employment will be significantly affected and he will lose his job. He works as a traffic safety officer in the organisation of highways and motorways.”

Magistrates fined Harris £923 and ordered him to pay a £92 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.