A driver who was caught 120 times over the legal limit for drugs has been jailed for 18 weeks and giving a lengthy driving ban.
30-year-old Gintars Garkajs from the market town of Wisbech in Norfolk was stopped while driving his Audi A6 in the area of Peterborough in January. Police had been watching the driver and were suspicious he was under the influence.
After pulling Garkajs over, roadside tests found he was, in fact, 120 times over the legal limit. Drugs found in his system included 100 times the legal limit of MDMA (ecstasy) and 10 times over the cocaine limit. Traces of amphetamines were also present.
Having pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of drugs, Garkajs was given 18 weeks jail time by Cambridge Magistrates Court. He also landed himself a five-year driving ban.
Sargeant Ian Manley of Cambridgeshire police said: “Driving under the influence of drugs is completely unacceptable.”
He added: “By doing so you significantly increase the chance of being involved in a serious, even fatal collision. It’s simple, if you’ve consumed drugs, don’t risk driving.”
Police added roadside ‘drugalyser’ testing devices to their arsenal back in March 2015, which can be used to detect a number of illegal and legal drugs using a driver’s saliva. The legal limits of drugs are deliberately set very low.
Drug-driving laws were tightened up to make it easier to catch and prosecute those who drive under the influence, but there has been criticism the declining number of police on the beat means more drivers can get away with it.
31 deaths and 181 serious injuries were caused by drug-driving in 2012, considerably less than the 290 people who died from drink-driving in the same year but enough to make it a major concern for the government.
Motorists who take prescription drugs should be careful when driving as you can be prosecuted for being over the limit. If in doubt, go without driving or risk jail time, a driving ban and a fine up to £5,000.