NAMED: 6 Gympie men busted drink and drug driving
SIX men were convicted in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday after being caught driving with either alcohol or drugs in their system.
A Gympie business owner was fined $800 and lost his license after downing a four-pack of Jack Daniels and then driving to the police station.
On January 19, Samuel Lawrenson Wilson, who owns Sam’s Car Detailing, was meant to be caring for his two children at the time when his ex-wife decided he was unable to; having given one of them the wrong medication.
He drove to her house in the afternoon wanting to take the children; she called the police.
They spoke to Wilson, who left - and decided to buy the four-pack.
Later that night the police called and asked him to come to the station.
Wilson told the court he drove himself there after drinking without thinking about it.
Police noticed he was glassy-eyed and slurring his speech; a breath test returned a reading of 0.174 and he was arrested.
The police prosecutor said Wilson gave several different accounts of what happened that afternoon, and claimed he only mixed the medication up because his ex-wife had not told him it had changed.
Mr Callaghan accepted Wilson was distracted by these personal issues when he drove to the police station, noting he had a limited traffic history and no criminal history.
He was fined $800 and disqualified from driving for six months.
No conviction was recorded.
Joseph Luke Rogers, 34, pleaded guilty after being caught with traces of marijuana in his saliva while on a probationary licence.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Lisa Manns said a police patrol conducted the test at a Caltex Woolworths service station in Gympie on December 30 2019.
Rogers, who the court heard is a carer for his brother who has a brain injury, was driving from his house to his brother’s home at the time.
He was not under the influence of drugs at the time but the test picked up marijuana in his saliva.
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Mr Callaghan disqualified Rogers from driving for six months and fined him $200, taking into account the man’s remorse, early plea, his ability to work and his brother’s quality of life.
Nathan Wade Croker, 33, was also caught with traces of meth and marijuana in his saliva, despite claiming not to be a meth user.
Croker was pulled over at Tandur just after 8pm on February 14.
The results showed traces of methamphetamines and marijuana, but he was not under the influence at the time of the offence.
Croker told the court he did not know how there could be meth in his system as he wasn’t a meth user.
He was fined $200 and disqualified from driving for three months.
Kevin Clifton John Taylor, 37, was charged with drink driving after being caught at almost four times the legal limit.
On June 20 Taylor hit a kerb while driving in a Gympie street; his front bumper to fall off and police arrived at the scene to find him and his elderly parents organising a tow truck.
Taylor, a father of three and cabinet-maker, was breathalysed and caught with a blood-alcohol level in the high range, at 0.196.
He was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for nine months.
Twenty-four-year-old father Joshua Marc Austin was disqualified from driving for more than two years after being caught with marijuana in his saliva on January 30.
Austin was on parole for drug offences and was already disqualified from driving for six months on December 19 last year.
The court was told he was driving because he had to pick up his child, as his partner does not drive.
Mr Callaghan said Austin’s behaviour was “really silly”, pointing out he was not even two months into his period of disqualification before being caught offending again.
He fined Austin $650, disqualified him from driving for two years and three months, and said if he was caught again he would be sentenced to time in prison.
Rickardo Bianco Ayrton, 44, pleaded guilty to driving with a relevant drug in his system on January 30 in Glenwood.
He was charged after two tests, one at the roadside and another at the Gympie Police Station, showed he had marijuana in his saliva.
Magistrate Chris Callaghan reminded the court that traces of drugs in saliva did not mean he was driving under the influence of drugs.
Ayrton was fined $150 and disqualified from driving for one month.
No conviction was recorded.