Taxi company director banned from driving

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A taxi company director has been banned from driving after he failed to provide a sample for a drugs test.

Edward Lawford was initially stopped in his Volkswagen Sheran on the M23 at Crawley by officers who witnessed him using his mobile phone while driving, police say.

The 46-year-old tested positive for cannabis following a roadside drug test on May 8, but failed to provide a specimen for analysis when required in custody.

Roadside tests are carried out to indicate whether an individual has any drink or drugs in their system; if the result is positive, the individual is then required to provide a more accurate reading in custody.

Lawford, of Bedford Road, Little Houghton, Northamptonshire, was subsequently charged with failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis, using a mobile phone while driving and possession of cannabis.

At Horsham Magistrates’ Court on September 26, he was disqualified from driving for 18 months, fined £1,300, and ordered to pay £620 costs and a £110 victim surcharge.

PC Jon Bennion-Jones, of the Arundel Roads Policing Unit, said: “Failing to provide a sample is an offence in its own right, however the outcome is the same as being over the drink or drug-driving limit; you will lose your licence.

“Since the introduction of roadside tests, we are detecting and prosecuting more drug-driving offences now than ever before.

“If you drive in Sussex while over the limit, expect to be stopped and expect to be tested.

“We will not tolerate drink or drug-driving on our roads. It is among the top four causes of death and serious injuries on our roads, along with using a mobile phone, speeding and failing to wear a seatbelt, and we will continue to target those we suspect of committing such offences.”

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website.

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.