AN Eden Valley drug-driver caught out by police had taken cocaine at the Kendal Calling music festival.

Oliver Metcalfe, 18, was seen by officers patrolling the A6 in Clifton, near Penrith, at 1.30pm on Saturday, July 29. Metcalfe was behind the wheel of an Audi A3.

“Their concern was that he didn’t have insurance, it is flashing up on ANPR (automatic numberplate recognition),” prosecutor Graeme Tindall told Carlisle Magistrates’ Court.

“There is a slight concern about the way it was driven. He contravened a ‘keep left’ bollard and was travelling perhaps just above the speed limit although they (police) don’t give any indication as to how fast that was.”

There were further concerns about Metcalfe’s state following the stoppage but he was fully co-operative with the roadside testing procedure. He was over the legal driving limit for cocaine metabolite BZE.

In court, Metcalfe — a young man without previous convictions —admitted a drug-drive charge, and also admitted a second charge of having no insurance.

Steven Marsh, mitigating, said Metcalfe was a ground worker for a locally-based civil engineering firm.

“He tells me so far as the offence is concerned that he had been at Kendal Calling. He had taken some cocaine the day before this offence. He is just aged 18. He didn’t believe the drug would remain in his system the following day — it is the middle of the day."

Metcalfe spoke of having performed what he regarded as a safe overtaking manoeuvre after leaving Clifton. “That, he thought, was perfectly acceptable and he didn’t think he was speeding. It was outside the 30mph limit. The police car stopped him and he was co-operative,” said Mr Marsh.

Metcalfe also didn’t realise his car was uninsured, with a direct debit payment having failed. “It was his fault that there was not enough money in his account,” said the solicitor.

Metcalfe’s car had been impounded after the incident, and he had since relied on family and friends for lifts. “He never got the car back, it has been scrapped and he has effectively not driven since the end of July,” added Mr Marsh.

District judge John Temperley told Metcalfe, of Hill Crest, Hunsonby, he suspected there had been “an element of immaturity in his decision-making” on the offence date.

He imposed fines totalling £700 and banned Metcalfe from driving for 16 months.

“You need to be aware — should you get your licence back in the future, should you decide to drive again, which I suspect you will, given your age — that you need to be careful and ideally not use any drugs at all.

“Because you can’t be certain how long they will remain in your system.”