Police forced to stop traffic due to HGV driver who'd taken cocktail of drugs

Police were forced to stop traffic on a busy main road due to a drug-fuelled HGV driver. Stephen Fox was behind the wheel of a lorry when a concerned member of public reported him for repeatedly weaving across lanes on the A1 southbound. Officers arrived at the scene and saw the 45-year-old continuing to drive erratically, a court heard.

And they became so concerned for other motorists that they were forced to undertake a rolling roadblock to prevent other traffic from going near Fox’s HGV. Described in court by his own solicitor as a “an episode of Police Interceptors”, Fox was finally brought to a stop when officers illuminated a sign telling him to do so. Magistrates were told that Fox immediately admitted to having had a drink and taken drugs but he proved to be below the alcohol limit for driving.

However, he was arrested after a saliva test came back positive for cocaine and cannabis.

Fox, who has a past conviction for drink driving, was taken to a police station, where a sample of blood was taken and analysed. He was found to have derivatives of cocaine, cannabis and diazepam in his system. Now, Fox, from Rowan Court, in Blyth, has narrowly avoided an immediate stint behind bars after he pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle whilst unfit through drugs.

Tracey Wood, prosecuting at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, said police were called at around 6.40pm on September 16 last year from a concerned member of public. They reported seeing an HGV repeatedly weaving between lanes on the A1 southbound near junction 51 in Leeming Bar, in North Yorkshire. Mrs Wood continued: “An officer located the vehicle.

It was still weaving between lanes. As a result, the officer put a rolling roadblock on to keep traffic behind him and away from the HGV. “Further officers attended and assisted with the roadblock.

The HGV continued to weave between lanes. “The police then illuminated signs to get the vehicle to stop, which it did.” The court heard that, after Fox failed a roadside saliva test, his vehicle was searched and drug paraphernalia was found.

Fox, who was alcohol dependant, also admitted he’d had a drink and taken some drugs, but he was found to be under the booze limit for driving. Steve Chambers, defending, said Fox was now living with his mother and was no longer taking drugs and had reduced his alcohol intake. He added: “The principal issues are the type of vehicle it is – it’s a heavy goods vehicle – and reports have come from members of the public.

“The police have to do a roadblock – it’s almost like an episode of Police Interceptors.” Mr Chambers said Fox had been offered work as a forklift truck driver and had pleaded guilty straightaway. Fox was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to pay a GBP128 victim surcharge.

He was also banned from the roads for three years.