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18-year-old caught drug-driving on friend’s moped at Downham Market McDonald’s

An 18-year-old who wanted to test out his friend’s moped was caught drug-driving by police.

John Darby, of Daisy Lane in Downham, appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, where he admitted driving above the specified drug limit as well as driving without the correct insurance.

On November 18 last year at midnight, police were on patrol in the Downham area when they stopped a moped driving on the McDonald’s car park.

The offence took place in McDonald’s car park in Downham. Picture: Google Maps
The offence took place in McDonald’s car park in Downham. Picture: Google Maps

Officers made checks which confirmed that Darby was not insured to drive the vehicle. They also asked him to complete a drug swipe which returned a positive result for cannabis.

He was arrested and taken to Lynn’s Police Investigation Centre, where a test showed that Darby had 9.8mcg of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol - a cannabis breakdown - per litre of blood. The legal limit to drive is 2mcg.

Prosecutor Amir Khan said that the teenager has a “lengthy list of previous convictions”.

In mitigation, George Sorrell said: “He lives at home with his parents and is looking for work. That is likely to be hampered by a driving disqualification.”

The solicitor told the court that Darby had been in the McDonald’s car park with some friends when one of them offered Darby a chance to try out his moped.

“Unfortunately for him, the police saw him. But there was no suggestion of bad driving,” said Mr Sorrell.

By committing these offences, Darby put himself in breach of a conditional discharge handed to him for committing a previous offence.

Magistrates decided to let that order run and gave him no separate penalty.

Instead, he was disqualified from driving for 12 months and fined £200.

He will also pay a victim surcharge of £80 and court costs of £45.

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