An indomitable police dog helped track down a drug-driver who had tried to abandon his vehicle in Chichester.
Eduart Ruci was driving a vehicle in St Pancras and reacted to a marked Roads Policing Unit (RPU) vehicle by driving away at speed on April 1 this year.
The vehicle was found in Tozer Way, shortly after 11.30pm, but the 39-year-old had left the area on foot.
So PD Billy, a German Shepherd, was brought in and tracked him down to a street nearby.
Ruci first told the attending police dog handler that he had been “at the pub” while he was detained then later claimed he was only the passenger of the vehicle.
He gave a positive roadside DrugWipe test for cocaine.
Officers identified him as the registered keeper of the vehicle and insurance was also in his name.
Ruci was detained by PD Billy before RPU officer PC Steve Bucksey was able to arrest him on suspicion of drug-driving.
In custody, Ruci gave a sample of blood which showed he had 337 microgrammes (mcg) of cocaine per litre of his blood. The legal limit is 50mcg of cocaine per litre of blood.
So Ruci, a builder, of Whiston Road, Hackney, was charged with drug driving.
At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on October 18 he admitted drug driving, and was disqualified from driving for three years. The court also ordered Ruci to pay a £700 fine, £70 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
PC Bucksey said: “Drug-driving is one of the major causes of people being killed or injured on our roads each year.
“So we are determined to catch offenders and remove them from the road.
“This case shows that with the support of our trusty colleague PD Billy, we will do what is necessary to catch offenders and take action against intoxicated drivers.
“Drug-driving is simply not acceptable. Ruci was taking a risk with his own safety as well as that of everyone else who may have been out in Chichester at that time.
“We are pleased a potentially dangerous driver has been disqualified.”
Reporting bad driving can be done over the phone, email or via the Operation Crackdown website.
A full registration number will assist us to target those responsible. We cannot be everywhere but we could be anywhere.”