South Tyneside driver avoids prison after being caught by police ‘out of his mind’ on cocaine
Kieran Lincoln, 29, got behind the wheel of his friend's car and drove to the garage in Jarrow, South Tyneside, after consuming cocaine.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that officers noted he could barely keep his eyes open after they were called to the scene.
Emma Dowling, prosecuting, told the court: "On the 25th of April last year, police were called to an Esso filling station on York Avenue in Jarrow.
"They had been told the defendant was there and he appeared to be under the influence.
"When they got to the garage, they could see the defendant who was slumped. His speech was slurred and he couldn't keep his eyes open.
"He was clearly under the influence."
Ms Dowling told the court that the police had their attention drawn by a "rock," which turned out to be a quantity of cocaine.
She added: "The defendant was clearly significantly impaired by drugs and had driven to the petrol station."
Lincoln was placed under arrest and a subsequent analysis showed he had 800mg of drugs in his system, - the legal limit being 50.
The court heard that it was accepted part of that reading was due to the drugs consumed at the petrol station and after he had driven.
However, Lincoln, of Sidney Street, Boldon Colliery, accepted he still would have been "significantly" over the limit before he arrived.
Lincoln, who has 21 previous convictions for 36 offences, pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled drug of class A, namely cocaine and driving whilst over the drug limit.
He also admitted driving without a licence and having no insurance.
Chris Knox, who was defending Lincoln, said: "The real nub of his mitigation is he has now got to grips with his drug use.
"He's got employment on the railways. Not surprisingly, he's a track worker on the railways, and there are drug tests frequently for obvious reasons.
"He's therefore able to produce clean tests and in my submission has dealt with the drug problem, which is clearly the route of all we have got here.
"There is compelling evidence he has managed to pull himself around."
Mr Recorder James Wood KC sentenced him to six months suspended for two years.
He told Lincoln: "On the 25th April last year, you were consuming cocaine having done so at a petrol station when police were called because you were effectively and colloquially out of your mind having consumed cocaine.
"They discovered a rock of cocaine and you were charged with possession of that rock.
"You were also charged with using the motor vehicle under the influence of drugs."
However, the judge added: "Your life has taken a change for the better and your offending record for the past maybe beginning to becoming to an end."
The court also ordered that Lincoln must complete 309 rehabilitation days and banned him from driving for two years.