Drug-impaired driver sent to jail
AFTER two drug-related car crashes, the anxiety felt by Janek Bagoien was realised with the Nimbin man sentenced to serve a total of 12 months’ jail for driving under the influence of drugs and negligent driving.
Bagoien, 40, pleaded guilty in the Lismore Local Court to negligent driving and driving under the influence of drugs – cannabis, Alprazolam and morphine – at Nimbin on September 18 last year.
He also pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and to driving his Toyota Corolla when it was unregistered and uninsured.
Magistrate Robyn Denes disqualified Bagoien from driving for three years from August 2012 to August 2015.
On the DUI offence he received 12 months’ jail, and was ordered to serve the non-parole period of six months from October 19, 2010, until April 18, 2011.
In the most recent offence, Bagoien did a U-turn and was driving back toward Nimbin Hospital to park his car when he lost control and collided head-on with a parked Holden Commodore wagon.
The impact shunted the Commodore back into a parked Toyota Landcruiser.
Nimbin police arrived on the scene to find Bagoien and a friend attempting to push his Corolla off the Commodore, with the officers stating that Bagoien’s speech was ‘slurred and he was drooling’.
Bagoien told police he had taken three Valium pills as per his medical prescription.
A blood and urine analysis subsequently revealed the presence of cannabis, morphine and Alprazolam, with the Police Service Clinical Forensic Medical Unit finding the drugs meant he had been driving under the influence and his driving ability was impaired.
Ms Denes also had to re-sentence Bagoien on a previous fully suspended 12-month jail sentence imposed by the court in August last year for an offence of driving under the influence of drugs at Lismore in January 2008.
On his first offence, Ms Denes sentenced Bagoien to six months’ jail, from April 19 to October 18 – to be immediately followed by the next six-month sentence.
Defence lawyer Ben Cochrane had argued his client had a history of mental health issues and a long-term problem with drugs and alcohol, and also suffered ‘severe anxiety’.
Ms Denes said that it was his client’s fifth DUI offence and that if Bagoien had killed someone he would have been looking at a long jail sentence.