Bristol man banned for driving “under influence of drum and bass”

A WHITE van man “high on drum and bass” was driving so erratically that police pulled him over thinking he must be under the influence.

Police didn’t chase Aaron Cogley but followed on intrigued as he dawdled through back streets, took a sharp turn and crawled through two sets of red traffic lights.

After hauling him out of his vehicle it transpired he was neither drunk nor on drugs but intoxicated by the top tunes blaring from his stereo, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Professional driver Cogley, 25, formerly of Gardener Road, Portishead, but now said to be homeless, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Mark Hollier, prosecuting, said police in an unmarked car spotted Cogley driving his Ford van in the streets near Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Mr Hollier said Cogley headed from Marlborough Street into Dighton Street, “cut up” a motorist and rounded a corner so sharply the whole van rocked on its chassis.

Mr Hollier told the court Cogley then drove slowly through two sets of red lights in Stokes Croft before swerving from lane to lane as he headed towards Montpelier Station. Police rushed the vehicle and Cogley was arrested and breathalysed, but blew a zero reading.

Mr Hollier said: “When asked about it he said he was listening to drum and bass and was in a hurry.”

David Miller, defending, said Cogley was not involved in a police chase but would now lose his job.

“It was stupid. He was carried away because of the intoxicating effects of drum and bass music.”

Passing sentence Recorder Mr Kevin De Haan QC described drum and bass as “Intoxicating for some. Very irritating for others.”

He told Cogley: “It’s always serious, dangerous driving. Even if you only went up to 40mph you were lucky that night. You could have had an accident and been hurt, or worse you could have hurt someone else. Police thought you had taken something.”

He handed Cogley 80 hours of unpaid work, banned him from driving for 12 months and ordered he pass an extended driving test. He was also landed with a £60 victim surcharge.

This seems like an excessively harsh sentence and an abuse of power by Kevin De Haan QC!