A MAN has been ordered to pay more than £400 after pleading guilty to driving while under the influence of cocaine.

Brighton Magistrates Court was told that police stopped Andrew Russell, 40, in Dyke Road, Brighton, on November 16.

A test later showed that Russell, of Harmsworth Crescent, Hove, had 144 microgrammes of Benzoylecgonine in his blood, the legal limit being 50.

While the court heard Russell’s driving was “unlikely’ to have been impaired by the cocaine, the test was introduced by the government as a new offence in regard to driving with a specific controlled drug in the body above that drug’s accepted limit.

The presence of Benzoylecgonine indicates a person has taken cocaine, the aim being to reduce expense, effort and time wasted from prosecutions that fail because of difficulties proving a particular drug impaired a driver.

Russell was fined £300, and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £34. He was also banned from driving for 12 months.

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