Crashed car after he had taken drugs

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When a blood sample was taken from a 39-year-old man it was found to contain cannabis and another controlled drug, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

Christopher James Leitch, Edenderry Gardens, Banbridge, admitted driving while unfit through drink or drugs on November 1 last year.

He was fined £200, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and banned from driving for 15 months.

A £100 fine was imposed for possession of a class C drug, Alprazolan, and for each of two offences of having a defective tyre he was fined £50.

The court heard that between 1.30am and 2am a single vehicle road traffic collision took place at Reilly Street in Banbridge.

A road sign at a traffic island had been knocked over.

There were two people in the area and the defendant admitted he was the driver.

Leitch was unsteady on his feet but passed a preliminary breath test.

Police suspected the involvement of drugs and a blood sample was taken which on analysis showed the presence of cannabis and another controlled drug, Alprazolan. There were also drugs found inside the car.

A solicitor representing the defendant said he accepted taking drugs before getting into the vehicle.

He explained his client was a recovering alcoholic and had done well over the last ten to 12 years.

The solicitor added that Leitch had only driven a short distance but accepted he was responsible for the collision and was under the influence of drugs.

District Judge Liam McNally said it was a bad piece of driving and under the influence of drugs the defendant had lost control of the vehicle.