Councillor suspended for two months after drug driving conviction

Shamed former mayor, 37, who was caught driving her BMW while high on cannabis is suspended as a councillor for two months

  • Louise Wride, 37, was arrested on suspicion of driving her BMW while on drugs
  • Police said they could smell cannabis after stopping Wride’s car in October 2020
  • She refused to stand down as mayor of Llandovery following her conviction 
  • An Ombudsman investigation suspended her from the council for two months

A shamed former mayor has been suspended from the council after she was convicted of driving her BMW under the influence of cannabis. 

Police stopped hairdresser Louise Wride, 37, as she was driving her BMW in October 2020. Officers tested her for drugs after they believed they could smell cannabis from the then mayor. 

Cllr Wride initially refused to step down as mayor of Llandovery, Carmarthenshire and failed to notify officials in the council about her arrest and subsequent conviction. 

However, an investigation by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales found her actions brought the council and the position of mayor into disrepute. 

Sinead Cook, an investigator with the watchdog said: ‘The Ombudsman has taken the view that the act of driving a car while under the influence while impaired through the use of drugs is conduct below that which would be expected of a councillor and which could reasonably be regarded as bringing their office or authority into disrepute.’

Councillor Louise Wride, 37, pictured, has been suspended from Llandovery Town Council in Carmathenshire after she was convicted of driving under the influence of cannabis 

The self employed hairdresser failed to alert council officials to her arrest and subsequent conviction

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales found her actions brought the council and the position of mayor into disrepute and suspended her for two months

Ms Cook said Wride should have referred herself for a potential breach of the council’s code of conduct.

Speaking at the time of her conviction, Wride said: ‘I am still trying to come to terms with it at the moment.

‘I don’t have any plans to leave the council. My fellow councillors have been very supportive of me.

‘I was going through a bad few weeks of my life at the time.’

Wride was the mayor of Llandovery in Carmarthenshire but did not quit her position on the town council and an investigation was launched following a complaint.

A court previously heard she was stopped by police behind the wheel of her BMW.

Officers noticed a smell of drugs inside the car and Wride later tested positive for cannabis.

A blood test showed Wride had cannabis derivative delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol known as THC in her system.

Self-employed hairdresser Wride admitted drug-driving and was handed a 12 month driving ban.

Llanelli Magistrates also fined her £120 over the offence in October 2020 and ordered her to pay £120 costs.

The hearing was told the level of drugs found in Wride’s system was double the legal limit.

Cllr Wride told the committee the conviction had had no bearing on her ability as a councillor.

Speaking of her drug test, she said: ‘I had been arguing with my partner so my eyes were watering, and I had false eyelashes on. That’s when he swab-tested me.’

Wride was handed a two month suspension and must also carry out code of conduct training but can appeal the decision to the Adjudication Panel for Wales.

MailOnline has approached Cllr Wride and Llandovery Town Council for a comment.  

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