AN 18-year-old who was caught with a ‘spliff’ after being stopped by police for having a broken tail light has appeared in court.
Daniel Rhys Smith, of Philip Avenue, Barnstaple, pleaded guilty to driving not in accordance with a licence, failing to maintain lights and possession of cannabis when he appeared before North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
The court heard how police were patrolling Queen Street in Barnstaple in the early hours of June 29 when they noticed Smith drive past on a moped with a broken tail light.
He was also carrying a girl, who was not wearing a crash helmet.
Police followed Smith into Bear Street, where he was stopped.
Smith, who was 17 at the time of the offence, was driving on a provisional licence and was not qualified to carry a passenger.
Police noticed Smith was unsteady on his feet, so asked him to do a breath test and searched his moped.
Smith was just below the legal drink drive limit of 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
However, police discovered a cannabis cigarette in the top box of his moped.
They then visited Smith’s address to speak with him in front of his mum.
Tony Dart, for the defence, said his client had been at a friend’s house and had a couple of shandies, but was careful to not go above the legal limit.
He said the female, who Smith had only met that night, asked for a lift down the road, and him being a gentleman, obliged.
Mr Dart said: “Officers who were there on other duties had nothing better to do so they followed my client, there was nothing wrong with his driving.”
He said Smith had bought some cannabis to make the ‘spliff’ the police found for £10, and it was just for his own consumption to “chill out with.”
Mr Dart added his client, a carpet laying apprentice, wasn’t “up to no good.”
Smith was awarded four penalty points for carrying a passenger, and was fined £35.
He was given a six month conditional discharge for possession of cannabis, and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20.