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A 27-year-old woman has been banned from the roads for 12 months after smoking cannabis the night before to help her sleep.

Mother-of-one Zafrah Williams was seen speeding at 37mph in a 30mph zone by police officers who then pulled her over.

Philip Pearson, prosecuting at Colchester Magistrates Court, said: “Police officers noticed she had bloodshot eyes and her pupils were dilated.

“They did a preliminary roadside breath test which was negative but came up positive for drugs so she was arrested.

“At the police station, she had a blood sample taken which was later forensically analysed.”

The tests found 3mcg Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per litre of blood in her system, where the legal limit is 2mcg. THC is the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis. The tests also showed trace amounts of cocaine, but below the legal drug-driving threshold.

Choosing to represent herself, Williams pleaded guilty to the charges, saying “Cannabis shouldn’t have been in my system. I had one joint the night before because I was having trouble sleeping due to personal issues.

“I wasn’t aware I was under the influence that day.”

A self-employed cleaner from Braintree, Essex, Williams will also now likely lose a job offer she had received from a care home in Maldon. She also uses her car to transport her sick mother to and from hospital, and her child to school.

Williams pleaded tearfully to the bench, imploring them not to ban her, however, Chairman Hazel Fox reminded her that the courts must treat cases of drug-driving as seriously as drink-driving. Williams was disqualified for a year and ordered to pay costs of £195.