MOTORISTS who drug-drive have been warned they will not get away with it.
In the past week, two people have been convicted of driving while unfit due to drugs.
It comes as figures released yesterday revealed that since March, 32 people had been arrested in Hampshire for driving while under the influence of drugs.
The statistics were obtained by the Institute of Advanced Motorists under a Freedom of Information Act request to all police forces in England and Wales.
Yesterday, Levi Seriki-Walters, of Chatfield Road, Gosport, was found guilty of the offence after a trial at Fareham magistrates’ Court.
He had pleaded not guilty to the incident which happened in June last year in Gosport.
Seriki-Walters was sentenced to three years disqualification, a £165 fine, £20 victim surcharge and court costs of £620.
Sergeant Rob Heard is Hampshire Constabulary’s road safety sergeant.
He said: ‘This case is an important reminder that driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol simply isn’t worth the risk.
‘We’re out on patrol as ever throughout our summer drink and drug-drive campaign and we know exactly what to look for to spot an unfit driver.
‘So it’s highly likely you will be caught, convicted and sentenced, the consequences of which could easily ruin your life.’
The court heard that Seriki-Walters was pulled over on June 18 last year while driving his mum’s BMW as a police camera picked that the car had no tax.
Once pulled over, police officers giving evidence said Seriki-Walters’ words were slurred and he was sat slumped in the drivers seat.
The court heard that another officer, PC Russell Tribe, was called to carry out an impairment test.
He added Seriki-Walters was swaying while the tests were taken place and was not adhering to the instructions.
But in his closing speech, John Taylor, defending, said the impairment test could have been caused by the low levels of alcohol in the defendants system as well as his ADHD.
But after hearing from the defendant, two police officers and a forensic toxicologist, magistrates found the 28-year-old guilty.
Chair magistrate Malcolm Brown said the evidence of cannabis in his system and the police evidence was enough to prove he was unfit to drive. Mr Taylor has appealed the sentence on behalf of the defendant, after telling the court that Seriki-Walters was trying to get a job a professional driver.
Philip Goose, senior community engagement officer at road safety charity, Brake said: ‘With zero-tolerance laws on drug driving now in force, there is no hiding place for those who engage in this behaviour and endanger lives on our roads.’
Last week, Connor McKenner, of Beryton Road, Gosport, admitted driving while unfit through drugs. He was banned a year and fined.
*To read The News’ view on this click here.