A man who was found to be 79 times over the drug-drive limit on the M3 near Basingstoke in “one of the highest readings” Hampshire Police has ever seen has been given a three-year driving ban.
Lee Ainsworth, 34, of Lenten Street in Alton, who “showed total disregard for the lives of others”, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and driving whilst unfit to drive through drugs at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on August 16.
The court heard how Ainsworth was driving a Ford Focus that collided into the back of a Jaguar on the M3, close to junction six for the Black Dam roundabout at around 3.45pm on April 28.
A passenger with Ainsworth in the Focus suffered a facial injury that required hospital treatment, while the male driver of the Jaguar and female passenger received minor injuries.
Toxicology tests revealed a product of cocaine in Ainsworth’s system – benzoylecgonine – was 79 times over the legal amount for the substance. He was found to have 3,951mcg per litre of blood. The legal amount is 50mcg per litre.
As well as the three-year ban, Ainsworth received a 12-month community order, and was ordered to undertake 180 hours of unpaid work.
He will also have to pay £85 in costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
PC Christopher Pike, of Hampshire’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “We were truly shocked when we received the test results.
“By getting behind the wheel that day, knowing how much he had taken, he showed total disregard for the lives of others and it is sheer luck that no one was seriously hurt or killed.
“No level of drink or drug driving is acceptable but this was on another scale to anything I have come across before and is one of the highest readings the force has seen.”
PC Pike added: “We hope this case sends a strong message that we will continue to target those who keep on ignoring these laws.
“The laws are there to protect people’s lives and drink or drug driving is not worth the risk.
“The consequences can be fatal.”