A dad-of-two who celebrated by eating a cannabis cake for his birthday was caught drug driving at 5pm the following day.
John Roberts of East Farleigh in Maidstone said he wasn’t a drug user but marked turning 34 by eating the treat at a friend’s house.
But the next day the window cleaner who sometimes uses his HGV licence for extra work, was stopped by police in Aylesford and tests revealed he was over the limit.
Roberts appeared at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (September 6) and pleaded guilty to driving with a controlled drug above the specified limit on June 10.
Roberts of Stocket Lane told the court he would “lose everything” if he was banned from driving – his job, seeing his children and even his rented home – but magistrates had no choice but to ban him from the road for 12 months, as that is the minimum sentence by law.
Roberts told the court: “The day before was my birthday and I went around my friend’s house for the evening but I didn’t smoke but I had a little bit of cake and had no idea it would stay in my system for a long time. It was one foolish mistake. I just had some cake on the evening before, on my birthday.”
He told magistrates he was not a cannabis user and did not use any other drugs and the “never had a point on my licence”.
He said his young sons did not live with him but he picked them up during the week and alternate weekends.
Roberts said he took home an average of £300 a week and if he was rained off as a window cleaner, he used his HGV licence as a recovery driver.
‘This is the law. We have no choice’
The court heard he had been driving his Vauxhall Astra on the A20 London Road in Aylesford at 5.10pm on June 10 when he was stopped by police for light defects and not wearing a seatbelt.
After the roadside saliva test showed positive, a further test at Tonbridge Police Station showed a level of 2.2 in 100ml of blood, the legal limit is 2mcgs.
Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Jane Day told Roberts: “It is a very sad situation which is not lost on me and it is going to make a huge change in your life, but this is the law. We have no choice. We are going to disqualify you for 12 months and impose a fine of £300 and court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.”
His voice faltering with emotion, Roberts pleaded quietly not to be banned, telling magistrates: “I am going to lose my job so I am going to be out of work and lose my house.”
The court clerk told him: “The court has no discrection.”
But Roberts said: “It was literally a one off. I didn’t think of the consequences. It is going to ruin my life. I will not be able to see my little boys.”