Mum found eight times over drug driving limit day after cocaine binge
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A mum has been banned from driving after she was found to be eight-times over the drug driving limit following a night of cocaine use.
Charli Charalambous, 34, was stopped at 3pm while driving in Wirral, Merseyside, on 17 November last year and a saliva test was carried out which showed evidence of cocaine.
Lab results later revealed she had the maximum level police record of the drug’s breakdown product (benzoylecgonine or BZE) in her blood at the time she was pulled over.
BZE is a breakdown product of cocaine and the legal limit is 50 mcg/l.
The tests showed Charalambous, who admitted drug driving, had 400 mcg of benzoylecgonine (BZE) per litre of blood. Police do not record levels above 400 mcg/l.
Charalambous’ lawyer Rebecca Boswell told the court her client ‘felt fine’ to get behind the wheel because she’d had 12-hours sleep and something to eat before driving.
Boswell said: ''She had been out the night before. She had gone home and had 12 hours sleep. She got up, had something to eat and got out in the day. She felt fine. She not believe that was still in her system.
"The cocaine was not in her system. It was the cocaine breakdown product that was in her system.
“Charalambous has been driving since 18 and has no driving convictions, and no previous convictions at all.
“She is a mum of a one-year-old child and works in admin. A driving disqualification is going to make it very difficult going forward.
“She is a single parent who wants to get back into work but that is now going to be extremely limited to her.”
Prosecutor Angela Blackmore told the court Charalambous had previously been given three fixed penalties for being drunk and disorderly.
Charalambous was banned from driving for 12-months, she was also hit with a fined of £120, and ordered to pay £168 in costs and a victim surcharge.
Speaking to Charalambous, the Justice of the Peace said: “It is always disappointing to see a person of previous good character for an offence such as this.
“You lose that good character by way of this conviction.
“We are not dealing with the reasons why you were stopped but the police did have grounds to request a roadside drug test from you and when that was completed the offence that you are here for was found to have taken place.
“A disqualification from driving in cases such as this is inevitable.
“It does create an impact on yourself and your employment prospects, but these are all the consequences of your own actions. It is important that you remember that.”