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'Self-medicating' cannabis drug driver banned after police operation capture

PUBLISHED: 08:58 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:58 31 May 2019

Suffolk Police carried out Operation Quartzite. Picture: Suffolk Constabulary

Suffolk Police carried out Operation Quartzite. Picture: Suffolk Constabulary

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A drug driver who self-medicated with cannabis to sleep at night was arrested as part of a police operation.

Luke Quadling, of Avondale Road, Lowestoft, was stopped by officers on Belvedere Road after checks suggested the car he was driving could be untaxed.

A roadside drug test was 
carried out, which found 
Quadling was over the legal limit for cannabis.

Anne-Marie Sheridan, defending, said: "He accepts he was incredibly stupid but he did not feel any impairment to his driving.

"Last year, he had an operation on his back and could not walk for six months. After that, he self-medicated with cannabis.

"He smoked cannabis the night before and he didn't realise it would show up in his body the next morning."

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The stop was made as part of Operation Quartzite on November 26 2018, where police stopped 64 vehicles in the town, with just nine leaving the site clear.

Appearing at Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, May 29, Quadling admitted one charge of drug driving and was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £200. He must also pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.

The 21-year-old was one of 
seven suspected drug drivers arrested during the operation, with other motorists pulled over for a range of offences, including driving without insurance, not paying car tax, driving while using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt.

In total, 49 Traffic Offence Reports were written for the 64 vehicles stopped.

Speaking at the time, Sgt Julian Ditcham, from the Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) said: "Operation Quartzite is a series of proactive days of action, planned to underline the Constabulary's determination to frustrate the activities of criminals, including serious 
and organised crime groups 
who seek to commit offences within our area.

"This is a great example of partnership working and provides in the area a high volume of visible police officers on the streets.

"If you drink and drive, or if you take drugs and drive, we are specifically targeting you."

Officers from the RAPT team, Joint Scorpion (proactive) teams, Road Casualty Reduction Team and the police dog section 
joined together with partner agencies to carry out the police led multi-agency vehicle check on Belvedere Road.

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