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Sick of this s***: 22 busted for drug driving in Qld town

RBT: Random breath testing, Alexandra Headlands, Sunshine Coast. December 10, 2015.Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily
RBT: Random breath testing, Alexandra Headlands, Sunshine Coast. December 10, 2015.Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily Patrick Woods

WARWICK Magistrates Court was brimming with drug drivers yesterday, to the point Magistrate Bevan Manthey said he was "sick of this s***".

A total of 22 drug-driving Southern Downs residents were due to appear in Warwick Magistrate's Court yesterday, a figure quickly growing on call-over day.

In the past two years, drug-driving rates have overtaken that of drink drivers, and in Warwick, it's estimated 30 to 40 people driving under the influence are charged every fortnight, with less than 10% of those drink drivers.

The courts deal with each drug-driving charge, and yesterday's proceedings were proof it's a dangerous problem spiralling out of homes and onto our roads.

The youngest of the offenders was a 19-year-old P-plater who was pulled over on Dragon St October 29 this year.

Liam Roy Pearson pleaded guilty to the drug-driving charge, acknowledging that losing his licence for three months would impede on his ability to travel as a "a chippy".

Regardless, the Rosenthal Heights teen copped a $600 fine disqualified from driving for three months.

At only a year older, Dean Bruce Graham Robertson was nabbed by police while also still on his provisional licence.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to driving on the New England Hwy while marijuana was still in this system.

The Hendon man was fined $600 and disqualified from driving for three months.

Magistrate Bevan Manthey said like any drug driver, if Robinson got behind the wheel during his period of disqualification, he might as well drive himself to jail.

Another driver was fined $500 and disqualified from driving for three months after he took to the road with MDMA and meth in his system.

Shane Leslie Edward Reeves was pulled over by police October 30 this year, and pleaded guilty to the charge.

Mr Manthey offered the Rosenthal Heights man the same warning as Robertson.

"You take the punt to drive in the next three months, they catch you and they're charge you with driving on a disqualified licence," he said.

"That's enough to send you to jail."

Another driver's mother pipped Manthey to post, punishing her 25-year-old son for his two drug driving charges.

"Mum's taken the car off me," Joshua Paul Taylor said.

He went on to say "it was a silly mistake and won't be happening again".

Mr Manthey was quick to rebut.

"I wouldn't mortgage my house on it," he said.

"You've got three pages of history here, so yeah right."

He was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for 10 months.

One driver was even asked by Mr Manthey if she was looking for help with drug addiction after being charged with drug driving twice in two days.

Lisa Elliott was pulled over on Law Rd twice, once on the October 28, and a second time on October 30, each time with meth in her system.

The second occasion, police also found a presence of ecstasy

"Are you getting any help for his," Mr Manthey asked.

"No," she replied.

Terrance Keith West told the court he was caught on Fitzroy St with marijuana in his system because it was the only thing that could help him sleep at night.

"Unfortunately, it is the only thing that works," he said.

He too was disqualified from driving for three months and fined.

Topics:  drug driving editors picks warwick



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