A DRUG driver has been told he must stop using the drug or risk going to jail.

Vinny Rycroft was followed by police on the A380 road between Newton Abbot and Exeter in the early hours of the morning and stopped because he has previously been involved in cannabis dealing.

He tried to ignore the blue flashing lights but was eventually pulled over after leaving the road at Matford. Police noticed he was under the influence of drink or drugs and found a small amount of cannabis in his Audi car.

Rycroft failed a roadside drug swipe but passed a breath test, blowing five microgrammes under the limit of 35. He then refused to give a blood test which would have established the exact level of cannabis in his body.

He is at risk of going to jail because he received a 15 month suspended sentence at Plymouth Crown Court in May 2021 after he admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Judge Anna Richardson decided not to activate the sentence after hearing that Rycroft is working well with the probation service under his previous sentence and has caring responsibilities for his grandfather and half-sister.

Rycroft, aged 30, of Britannia Avenue, Dartmouth, admitted personal possession of cannabis and failing to provide a specimen and was banned from driving for 18 months, fined £50 and ordered to do a further 15 rehabilitation activity days at Exeter Crown Court.

Judge Richardson told him that he will be in breach of the suspended sentence if he is caught in possession of cannabis again and added: ‘At some point, all the mitigation will not be enough and you will go inside, at which point your grandfather, half-sister and mother will struggle.

‘The probation service have a different perspective about the use of cannabis from you. They are right and you are wrong. If you work with them, your life is going to get better. If you do not, it will get worse.’

Mr Thomas Faulkner, prosecuting, said police saw Rycroft’s Audi on the A380 near Telegraph Hill at 4.45 am on May 5 this year and decided to stop him. He carried on driving normally but only stopped after reaching Matford.

He said: ‘The officer formed the opinion he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. His eyes were glazed and he appeared confused’

A drug swipe proved positive and he was arrested. Three small bags of herbal cannabis weighing a total of 2.98 grams were found in the car. He refused to take a blood test at the station.

Miss Felicity Payne, defending, urged the judge not to activate the suspended sentence. She said the new offences are not serious enough to merit prison on their own and the reports from probation on his progress are very positive.

He has only just started a Thinking Skills course which may help him give up his long-standing use of cannabis.

He also has caring responsibilities at home which have increased since the recent death of his aunt.