A mum-of-three has been banned from driving for a year after she tested more than eleven times the drug-driving limit at 11am, following a cocaine-fueled night out.
Emily Stopforth, 29, who goes by the nickname ‘Crazy Em’, was stopped in her grey BMW X5 more than 13 hours after she had been snorting the drug with the boyfriend.
Her children were not in the vehicle when she was stopped by police, as they were being looked after by a babysitter.
Test came back showing the 29-year-old had traces of cocaine and cannabis in her system.
A sample also came back showing she had 560 micrograms of benzoylecgonine – a derivative of the white powder – per litre of blood in her system – with the legal limit being 50mg.
This week, the mum from Merseyside admitted to drug driving, but admitted she did not realise the breakdown product of cocaine would still be in her system when she got at the wheel.
She also claimed she needed her car to take two of her three children – aged 11 and seven – on the school run that morning.
The prosecutor, Scott Woodward, told Sefton Magistrates’ Courts: “It was Wednesday 9th of February and shortly before 11am when officers sighted the defendant’s grey BMW X5. Officers caused the vehicle to stop due to the front seat passenger who was seen fidgeting.”
He continued stating that upon opening the door of the vehicle, “The officers could smell cannabis coming from the vehicle and therefore, a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act was conducted.
“The defendant was asked to take a roadside drug wipe test which was positive for cocaine and cannabis. She was therefore taken into custody where a sample of blood was obtained. The results for benzoylecgonine were not less than 560 micrograms per litre of blood, the legal limit being 50. She is of previous good character.”
In mitigation, Stopforth’s solicitor Amanda Sheppard explained how at the end of January ‘Crazy Em’s’ mum had been given the diagnosis of sclerosis of the liver, with a life expectancy of two years.
Because of this, Sheppard continued saying: “Shortly after this she took an overdose and ended up in A&E and a few weeks later she went off the rails a bit and took cocaine on occasions.”
Emily’s solicitor added: “She did take cocaine on a night out with her partner. It was a rare night out, she has three children and was in bed by 10pm.
“She did not think that the cocaine taken the night before would still be in her system. She’s not a frequent user of drink and drugs necessarily and therefore she did not understand the consequences of how that would stay in her system for a number of days after that.
“She’s the only driver in her family. She has children of 11, seven and two going to a school three miles away from her house.”
The solicitor then reiterated her terminally ill mother and other family members are dependant upon her because of her car, and that a loss of her license would have effect on others, saying: “This error of judgement is going to impact not just herself but others in her family. A lot of people are relying on her so it’s going to be a let-down.
“She is absolutely mortified by her actions and the impact it will have on her family.
“The aggravating factor is that there was another person in the car. The drug is benzoylecgonine and not cocaine. It is a derivative of the drug she had taken the night before, it is a product of the breakdown of the drug itself.
“I ask you for the minimum ban given the impact that this is already going to have on her and her other family members.”
For drug driving, the magistrates fined Stopforth £180 and ordered that she pay £119 in costs and victim surcharge.
They also banned her for the minimum amount of 12 months “because of the mitigating circumstances”.
Chairwoman Angela McIntyre said: “We have listened very carefully to everything that’s been said today and we will deal with you by way of a financial penalty.
“It was an expensive cocaine hit with everything that has happened. I would not bother doing it again.”