Drugged driver banned from the roads

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A DRUGGED driver who was found slumped over the wheel of his car in the middle of a street in South Tyneside has been banned from the roads.

Ian Howard had taken a cocktail of cannabis and ecstasy when police found him in his Audi A3.

The vehicle was stuck diagonally over two lanes in Saxon Way, Jarrow, with the engine running.

The unemployed 42-year-old was unconscious behind the wheel.

Eventually police managed to rouse him and he was arrested.

Howard pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs and possessing cannabis at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “It was 6.30am on a Saturday morning when police were called to Saxon Way after reports that a car was causing an obstruction.

“When they got there, the defendant’s Audi was across two lanes with a loudly-revving engine.

“He was sitting in it with his mobile phone in hand.”

The court heard the officers turned off the engine and noticed a strong smell of cannabis in the car.

Mr Anderson added: “They had some difficulty rousing him but when they did he was arrested.

“He told them he didn’t know what had happened.

“A breath test proved negative for alcohol so a blood test was taken and sent for analysis.

“That came back with traces of cannabis and ecstasy.”

Defending himself, Howard, of Wark Avenue, North Shields, said: “I was a fool, an absolute fool. There’s nothing more I can say about it.”

Magistrates banned him from driving for 12 months, fined him £110 and ordered him to pay £85 costs.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazCrime