Moneymore teenager convicted of driving under influence of drugs

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A Moneymore teenager has been disqualified from driving after he was convicted of being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, and possession of a Class B controlled drug, namely cannabis.

Joshua Crooks, 19, from Millrace Drive, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Friday.



The court heard how on October 18, police were mounting a mobile patrol in Cookstown’s town centre when they came upon the defendant’s stationary vehicle on Monkey Lane at 4.45am.

Officers detected a strong smell of cannabis from inside the car and noted that the keys were in the ignition.

When they conducted an impairment test on Crooks, he failed it and was subsequently arrested.

Police also took a number of substances from the car for further testing.

A medical test conducted in the police station revealed that the defendant had cannabis in his bloodstream, the court was told, and the exhibits removed from the car proved on analysis to be cannabis.

Crooks then admitted to having smoked a cannabis joint some three to four hours earlier in the evening, and claimed not to have realised that his driving would be impaired.

His defence solicitor told the court that Crooks, who was attending court with his mother, apologised for his behaviour and was going through a tough time in his life.

The judge gave Crooks credit for his early guilty plea, but warned him that he was not allowed to drive whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

However, because it was an in-charge offence rather than a driving one, he decided to disqualify Crooks for four months. He also fined him £300.