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Driver tests positive for cocaine – but blames bad driving on methadone

The case called at Inverness Sheriff Court
The case called at Inverness Sheriff Court

A driver who tested positive for cocaine said it was not the coke that was affecting his driving – it was his methadone prescription.

A member of the public called police after spotting Steven Grant, 42, driving in a concerning manner on the A82 in September last year.

He was traced by officers, who observed the vehicle drifting in the lane and pulled it over.

A roadside drugs swab came back positive for cocaine, but, when charged, Grant said his poor driving had been caused by his methadone prescription.

Grant pled guilty to a single charge of driving while unfit through drink or drugs at  Inverness Sheriff Court.

Fiscal depute Karen Poke told the court that on September 23 2021 his driving had aroused suspicion.

She said: “Police received a call from a member of the public reporting a concern about the manner of a vehicle being driven on the A82.

“Police were dispatched to trace the vehicle and discovered the vehicle drifting in the lane. The driver appeared unable to control the car.”

Driver appeared ‘impaired’

The court heard that officers used blue lights to stop Grant’s vehicle and they noted he “appeared impaired with slow movement and speech”.

Grant was breathalysed and swabbed for drugs. His breath alcohol level was well below the legal limit, but his saliva returned a positive result for cocaine.

He was taken to Burnett Road police station where further samples were collected.

When cautioned and charged he told officers: “When you stopped me I wasn’t under the influence of drink and drugs, it was my medication.”

Solicitor Graham Mann told the court that his client, a self-employed forestry machine operator, had a longstanding prescription for methadone.

He said: “His position is that he is subject to prescribed medication.”

Sheriff Margaret Neilson fined Grant, of Thistle Road, Conon Bridge, £420 and banned him from the roads for a year.

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