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Court / Drug-driving results in another disqualification

Lerwick Sheriff Court

A TWENTY six year old man who admitted a drug driving charge has been banned from the road for a further year and fined £400.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday that Lee Graham, of Herrisdale Park in Tingwall, had been “in the throes of a cocaine addiction” when the offence occurred on the A970 at Girlsta on 4 July last year.

He was stopped by police at around 10am due to the manner of his driving and, while a breath sample was negative, officers were suspicious that he may have taken controlled drugs.

Graham then provided a positive drug sample showing the proportion of benzoylecgonine, a compound found in the liver after taking cocaine, was 239 microgrammes per litre of blood. The specified limit is 50 microgrammes.

Defence agent Gregor Kelly said that at the time Graham, who works as a duty manager at Busta House Hotel, had been “holding onto his job by his fingertips” due to his drug problem.

Kelly said his client had been on a “slippery slope” and had only narrowly avoided a lengthy custodial sentence.

That was in relation to another offence, on Boxing Day last year, when he crashed his car under the influence of drugs having tested positive for Covid-19, putting police officers and health workers at risk of contracting the virus.

Last month he was banned from driving for 16 months for the latter and ordered to pay a total of £4,500 in compensation.

The disqualifications will “make things extremely difficult for him” with his work, but Graham is engaging with counselling and is undergoing monthly drug tests, Kelly said.