Mother-of-one was eight times drug driving limit after cocaine binge

Mother-of-one, 34, who was eight times drug driving limit after cocaine binge the night before is handed a £120 fine and banned from roads for 12 months

  • Charli Charalambous was eight times the drug drive limit after cocaine binge
  • She has been banned from road for 12 months and has been handed a £120 fine

A mother-of-one who was caught behind the wheel when she was eight times the drug driving limit following a cocaine binge the night before has been handed a £120 fine and was banned from the roads for 12 months. 

Charli Charalambous, 34, had failed a roadside drugs test after being stopped in her Audi A3 Sport by police at 3pm the day after a night out with friends. 

Blood tests showed she had more than 400 mcg of benzoylecgonine (BZE) per litre of blood. BZE is a breakdown product of cocaine and the legal limit is 50 mcg/l. Police do not record levels above 400 mcg/l. 

The administrative assistant, from Prenton, near Birkenhead, admitted to drug driving as she slept for 12 hours before hitting the road and did not realise the breakdown product of cocaine would be still in her system.

Charli Charalambous, a single mother-of-one, tested eight times the drug driving limit after a cocaine binge the night before

 Charalambous has been banned for 12 months and the magistrates ordered that she pay £168 in costs and victim surcharge

At Wirral Magistrates’ Court, her lawyer Rebecca 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.

‘She 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 e- working 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.’

Angela Blackmore, prosecuting told JPs: ‘The incident took place on November 17. Officer Gunson on that day around 3 stopped an Audi vehicle on Old Chester Road, Wirral. The defendant was driving the vehicle and she was asked to provide a sample of saliva at the roadside, which was positive for cocaine.

Charalambous claimed she felt ‘fine’ to drive, the tests showed she had traces of cocaine breakdown product (BZE) in her system

‘She found herself arrested and taken to the police station where samples of blood were taken for analysis. ‘The reading of which when forensically analysed was greater than 400 micrograms, over the specified limit of 50, for benzoylecgonine, which is the breakdown metabolite for cocaine.

‘She has no previous convictions though she has three fixed penalties for being drunk and disorderly.’

Justice of the Peace who expressed her disappointment said that a person loses her good character for an offence such as this.

She said: ‘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.’

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