Man jailed after drug driving on the M40

Warwick Crown Court sits at Leamington Justice Centre
Warwick Crown Court sits at Leamington Justice Centre

A man has been jailed after he was caught speeding along the M40 under the influence of cannabis and cocaine.

Ben Hawkins of Brickfield Lane, Shipston on Stour, was sentenced by Leamington Magistrates on Monday for travelling at high speed on the M40 motorway whilst under the influence of the drugs.

Ben Hawkins

Ben Hawkins

The 29-year-old was stopped by traffic officers from Warwickshire Police in April when he was seen speeding near to junction 15 of the motorway just before 9pm.

A roadside drugs test showed cannabis use, and a blood sample following his arrest also showed cocaine in his system.

Hawkins failed to appear at court, but contacted officials during the hearing to state he was not able to make the date set.

When presented before the court where he was handed a sentence of 16 weeks in prison, two years disqualification from driving and seven penalty points on his license.

He must also pay costs of over £700.

Sergeant Geoff Bell from Warwickshire Police’s operations patrol unit said: “The severity of this sentence, plus the steps taken to ensure the defendant appeared before the magistrates serves only to underline how seriously police and the courts view poor driving, which in this case was made all the more serious by the presence of drugs in the defendant’s blood.

“Upon viewing the in car video of the man’s poor driving, magistrates decided that the charges were of sufficient importance to dispatch police to Hawkins’s house immediately, where he was arrested and presented before the court.

“Our officers are patrolling 24 hours a day in both marked and unmarked cars and will robustly act to ensure we protect road users from harm.”