MAGISTRATES in Basingstoke disqualified two drug drivers after they were stopped by police on the final day of a Hampshire music festival.

Joshua Andrews, 19, of Warbro Road, Torquay, and Samuel Sparks, 29, of Westcott Street, Dorking, both pleaded guilty to a pair of drug driving charges at Basingstoke Magistrates Court on Tuesday (January 7).

Andrews had been driving to Boomtown Festival, in Winchester, on Sunday, August 11, to pick up some friends when police pulled him over for not wearing a seatbelt.

However, officers suspected he might be under the influence of drugs. He took a drugs test and was found to have 75 micrograms of MDMA and 2.9 micrograms of THC in his blood.

The legal limits are 10 and two respectively.

Sparks, meanwhile, was stopped on the same day on his way back from the festival.

He was found with 90 micrograms of Benzoylecgonine in his blood, where the legal limit is 50, and 17 micrograms of MDMA in his blood.

Sparks’ solicitor explained that he had arrived at the festival on the Thursday, taken drugs on the Friday but abstained on the Saturday and Sunday, thinking the drugs would have worn off in time for him to then drive home.

Similarly, Andrews’ solicitor noted that her client been at a party the night previously but had waited 12 hours before driving the next morning, expecting the drugs to be out of his system.

The court also heard that the incident was “extremely out of character” for the 19-year-old, with his employer “speaking extremely fondly of him”.

It was also explained that Andrews requires his car to commute from Torquay to Exeter where he is completing an apprenticeship to become an electrician.

He is in his third year of the apprenticeship but if he were to lose his license, his solicitor said it was “not clear if they can hold the apprenticeship open until the disqualification comes to an end.”

There was a deep exhale of breath in the public gallery as Andrews was sentenced to a 12-month disqualification from driving.

Magistrates described the offence as “very disappointing” and “potentially very dangerous”. He was also fined £63 and made to pay costs of £85 plus a victim surcharge of £32.

Sparks was also disqualified for 12 months.

He was also fined £227 and made to pay costs of £85 plus a victim surcharge of £32.