Leicestershire Live reports….
He had ‘been having trouble sleeping and a friend told him cannabis would help him relax’
A man’s ‘first dalliance’ with cannabis has earned him a driving ban and a hefty fine after he took to the road under the influence of the drug.
IT technician Chetan Kanabar was ‘swaying from side to side’ and his eyes were ‘glazed’ when Leicestershire Police officers stopped him for questioning after they saw him run a red light near his home in Wigston.
The 41-year-old, of Saltash Close, Wigston, appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court to admit a single charge of drug driving on Saturday, June 13, last year.
His solicitor told a court that Kanabar had only tried the drug for the first time that day because he had been struggling to sleep, as he was worried about his job during the pandemic.
A friend had suggested that smoking the class B drug would help him relax, the court heard.
Prosecutor Sally Bedford said officers were on routine patrol in Bull Head Street when they found themselves behind Kanabar’s VW Passat in time to watch him go through a stop signal.
Ms Bedford said: “The officers observed him creeping over the white line and going through the red light.”
Officers followed the vehicle and stopped it a short distance away, she told the court.
“The officers could smell cannabis and the defendant presented as being unsteady on his feet and was swaying from side to side,” she said. “His eyes were glazed and he had large pupils.”
Kanabar was taken into custody, where he co-operated in giving a blood sample.
It gave a reading of 7.2mg of cannabis per litre of blood. The legal limit is 2mg, Ms Bedford said.
David Rhodes, representing Kanabar, told the court: “He is mortified to find himself in court today.
“He has never been a person known to the police, and smoking cannabis is not something he does on a regular basis.
“In fact, he tells me this was his first dalliance with it.”
Kanabar had not been sleeping well because he feared his job and the company he works for were at risk because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Mr Rhodes said.
A friend had thought they were doing him a favour when they gave him a small amount of cannabis and told him it would help him relax, Mr Rhodes said.
He had tried it approximately two hours before he was stopped by the police.