A MOTORIST caught driving while under the influence of cocaine in Aspatria has been given a three-year driving ban.

Rhys Greenhow’s lawyer told Carlisle’s Rickergate Magistrates’ Court that many people now regarded using the class-A drug as 'an essential constituent' of a night out.

The 28-year-old defendant admitted three offences: drug driving, having no valid insurance, and possessing cocaine.

The court heard that Greenhow, who has a previous conviction for drink driving, was caught in Queen Street, Aspatria, on Friday, November 19, as he drove a BMW 1 series, though there was no suggestion of bad driving.

Police found that he had two wraps of cocaine and he was then given a roadside drugs swipe, which gave a positive result for cocaine.

Defence lawyer Mark Shepherd told magistrates: “Many people see it [cocaine] as an essential constituent of a night out now.”

The lawyer accepted that Greenhow had not been using his time constructively.

The defendant, of North View, Aspatria, was in somebody else’s car and thought he was insured, but that was not the case because a payment had been missed.

As well as imposing a 36-month ban, magistrates fined the defendant £466 for the drug driving offence and £400 for the cocaine possession.

He must also pay £85 costs and victim surcharge of £87.

The ban was three years because that is the minimum for those with a previous qualifying offence – in his case drink driving – within a ten-year period.