Mechanic drove under the influence of cannabis

Friday 8th July 2022 11:06 am
Exterior view of the Isle of Man Courthouse in Douglas - (Isle of Man Newspapers )

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A 26-year-old mechanic has been sentenced to community service for driving while under the influence of cannabis.

Joe Guttridge admitted the offence and was also banned from driving for 18 months.

Prosecuting advocate Roger Kane told the court how police saw Guttridge driving a Vauxhall Corsa at Kewaigue Hill in Douglas on January 21 at 12.57am.

They stopped him due to the car having a defective brake light.

However, when officers spoke to him, they reported a smell of cannabis and that his pupils were enlarged.

He was tested using a drug wipe and failed the test.

In the car, police found 1.1 grams of cannabis, which they valued at £22.

Guttridge was arrested and taken to police headquarters where a sample of blood was taken.

The result later showed a cannabis presence of 10 micrograms per litre of blood.

The United Kingdom’s legal limit for cannabis (THC), which is used for guidance, is two micrograms per litre of blood.

During a police interview, Guttridge said he had been driving to his home on Broadway in Douglas from a friend’s address in Santon.

He said that he was a heavy user of cannabis and had felt fit to drive.

Guttridge was given a caution by police for possessing cannabis.

A probation report said that Guttridge had worked as a mechanic until recently, but had unfortunately now lost his job as a result of the inevitable driving ban.

Guttridge told probation he had been using cannabis for 11 years, and due to using it every day, thought that he had a high tolerance.

He said that he had not felt intoxicated on the night he drove and had mistakenly thought he was ok to drive.


The report said that Guttridge had stopped using cannabis from January, after his arrest, and would not be using it in the future.

The report recommended community service as an appropriate sentence, saying that Guttridge had skills which could be used for the benefit of the community.

Defence advocate David Reynolds said that there was no evidence to suggest that his client had been unsteady on his feet or there had been any poor driving.

Mr Reynolds asked magistrates to follow the recommendation of the probation report.

The advocate said: ‘The impact of this has made him completely stop using cannabis, which was not an easy thing to do, when he had been doing it for a significant period of time.

‘Hopefully this is somebody who won’t be back before the court.’

Magistrates ordered Guttridge to do 120 hours unpaid work and also take an extended driving test at the end of his ban.

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