Drug driver told police ‘I’m bound to be over the limit – I smoke cannabis all the time’

Joe Jopling appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates Court
Joe Jopling appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates Court

A drug driver has been banned from the roads after telling police he was bound to be over the limit because ‘I smoke cannabis all the time’.

Joe Jopling, 27, was stopped by police as he drove a Mini along Bamburgh Avenue, South Shields.

Laura Johnson, prosecuting, tols South Tyneside Magistrates Court: “A computer check revealed the car was not insured.

“When one of the officers approached the car he noticed a distinct smell of cannabis and Jopling was asked to take a roadside saliva test which he failed.

“He said that he was bound to be over the limit because he smoked cannabis all the time.”

Jopling, of Stanhope Drive, South Shields, admitted driving with drugs above the legal limit, and driving with no insurance, both on March 17.

He has previous convictions for fraud and affray.

Representing himself, Jopling said: “I’ve got post traumatic stress disorder from Iraq. I self-medicate with cannabis.

“I smoke it all the time because I cannot sleep without it. I’m not working at the minute, but I’m an HGV driver so need my licence if I’m to get back to work.

“The car wasn’t insured, but I am insured fully comp under my mam’s policy and thought it covered me for other vehicles third party.”

Jopling was banned from driving for 12 months, and also ordered to pay £235 in fines and costs.