Drug-driving teen lost control on A14 while trying to fetch lighter
A teenage drug-driver with an “appalling history” of motoring offences overturned his car on the A14 while bending down to retrieve a cigarette lighter.
Fabio Sousa, of Gymnasium Street, Ipswich, rolled his Renault Clio onto the central reservation on the outskirts of Felixstowe.
The crash happened while Sousa was driving along the eastbound carriageway, near the Port of Felixstowe, on May 17 this year.
The 19-year-old was stripped of his licence for a second time after appearing before magistrates to admit driving with 55 microgrammes of cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine per litre of blood - exceeding the limit of 50mcg.
Prosecutor Lesla Small said police had arrived at the scene, shortly after 4.40pm, to find Sousa standing uninjured beside the opposite carriageway.
"He told officers he was the driver and only occupant of the car," she added.
"After testing positive for cocaine at the roadside, the defendant told officers he had taken the drug earlier in the week, but thought he would be under the limit."
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Sousa had already served a disqualification, under the 'totting up' rule, after acquiring more than 12 points on his licence for driving without insurance, speeding and driving while using a mobile phone.
His licence had previously been endorsed with points for driving without insurance in 2017.
When asked to explain the collision, Sousa told magistrates: "I had a fag in my mouth and was going to light it, but the lighter went on the floor, next to the pedals.
"I went to try to grab it. When I looked up, I lost control of the car."
Sousa was told his conviction for drug-driving would result in a minimum 12-month disqualification.
Chairman of the bench of three magistrates, Pauline Burrell-Saward said: "We've upped your disqualification to 16 months, due to your terrible driving history and the fact you had an accident.
"You have an appalling motoring history at a very young age.
"Try to sort yourself out."
As well as being banned for 16 months, Sousa was fined £200 and ordered to pay £105 towards the cost of prosecution, along with a £30 statutory fee towards victim services.
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