A CHARD man with aims to become an HGV driver has been given a 12-month driving ban after being caught with more than three times the legal amount of cannabis in his system.

A police sergeant was on duty in an unmarked police vehicle in Crewkerne town centre when he saw a car being driven erratically by Declan Sulaiman.

He followed the defendant and when he pulled him over he gave a zero-breath test reading but then failed a drugs swipe for cannabis and was arrested.

The 24-year-old defendant, of Park Road, admitted driving a vehicle on the A30 at Crewkerne on March 12 when the level of Delta-9 exceeded the specified limit when he appeared before Somerset Magistrates.

Emma Lenanton, prosecuting, said the police officer saw a black Mazda approach the mini roundabout on East Street at 1.30am and turn right towards the A30.

“As it entered the roundabout it accelerated and the vehicle’s back end drifted out and it then continued at speed towards Chard,” she said.

“The sergeant stopped the car and tested the defendant at the roadside for alcohol, but the result was zero, however a drugs test then proved positive for cannabis.”

Further tests revealed a reading of 7mcg of Delta-9 (cannabis) in his system when the legal limit is 2mcg.

Defending, Greg Peters said that Sulaiman worked as a cable engineer but his ultimate ambition was to be an HGV driver.

“He said it was a moment of madness that he now greatly regrets and he told the police at the outset that his reading was likely to be positive for cannabis,” he said.

“He said he had smoked it earlier that evening but thought it would not affect him due to the time-lapse.”

Alongside the driving disqualification, the magistrates fined Sulaiman £480 with £85 costs and a £48 victim surcharge.