Drug test failure takes Upwell learner driver off the road

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A provisional licence holder has been banned from driving, even before he even passes his test, because of the effects of taking cannabis.

Tariq Hawkes, 22, was also not properly supervised when he was stopped by police, Lynn magistrates were told.

Hawkes, 22, of Tointons Road, Upwell, pleaded guilty to charges of drug-driving, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving without insurance during a hearing on Monday.

He was given a 12 month community order, including 60 hours’ unpaid work, plus a two year driving disqualification.

The court heard that Hawkes had been driving a silver Mercedes when he was stopped on the Elm High Road, near Wisbech, on the afternoon of January 31.

Alison Cotterill, prosecuting, said that, although there was a front seat passenger, who was later identified as Hawkes’ girlfriend, in the vehicle, she was not a full licence holder, meaning Hawkes, who only held a provisional licence, was not being supervised as he should have been.

Officers also carried a drug swab test on Hawkes, which proved positive.

Later tests showed he had 3.2 micrograms of cannabis per litre of blood. The legal limit is two.

Miss Cotterill said the car had belonged to Hawkes’ grandfather, who was unwilling to support a prosecution for taking it without his consent.

But mitigating solicitor Tim Bartnum said the car had been bought for Hawkes by his grandfather, for whom he acts as a full-time carer, and was registered in his name.

He described his client as an “occasional” cannabis user

No separate penalties were imposed on the licence and insurance counts, though Hawkes was ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.