A drug driver has been banned after he tried to overtake a bin lorry by going the wrong way round a roundabout and crashing into a street sign.
Steven Williams had more than twice the limit of cocaine metabolites in his blood when he lost control of his Skoda on one of Barnstaple’s busiest roads and ended up wedged on the central reservation.
He was trying to get ahead of the bin lorry because he was late for work and worried about losing his job.
He begged passers-by not to call the police after the crash in Barbican Road on December 2 last year and threw the dashcam from his car into a hedge to try to hide the evidence of his bad driving.
The footage included sound and he could be heard cursing the bin lorry immediately before he tried to get in front of it by speeding the wrong way across the Taw Ford roundabout.
Williams, aged 49, of Town Walk, Barnstaple, admitted drug driving and careless driving and was jailed for two months, suspended for a year by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.
He was banned from driving for two years, ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work and 20 days of rehabilitation activities and to pay £120 costs.
The judge told him: “You were late for work when a bin lorry pulled in front of you. It was going about its normal business at a reasonable pace but that was not fast enough for you.
“You went the wrong way around the roundabout lost control and crashed. There were a lot of cars around at the time. You tried to persuade people not to call the police and got rid of your dashcam, which had incriminating evidence on it.”
Thomas Faulkner, prosecuting, said Williams’ car hit a road sign and was photographed by police perched on the central reservation with front wheel off the ground.
Police suspected he had taken drugs because of his eyes and manner and a blood test at North Devon District Hospital showed 114 micrograms of a derivative of cocaine. Even though the drug itself is illegal, there is a legal driving limit of 50.
Nick Lewin, defending, said Williams was using cocaine to cope with anxiety after the breakdown of his marriage. His drug use has left him £10,000 in debt but he has now joined Narcotics Anonymous and stopped.
He said Williams was in a hurry to get to his job as a salesman because had received a warning for bad timekeeping and was worried about getting the sack.