News

Driver asleep at lights after taking drug cocktail

A DRIVER found asleep in his car at a green traffic light on the Dawson Highway in the middle of the day blamed his traffic dilemma on prescribed medication for anxiety and a dodgy fuse wire.

Nick Mamasioulas denied being asleep behind the wheel, instead claiming he was just fixing a fuse wire beneath his dash at the time.

Other drivers, worried at seeing the stationary car at the Park Road intersection, stopped and then called police, Gladstone Magistrates Court heard.

Mamasioulas, 27, a painter pleaded guilty to driving under the influence at 11.45am on April 30.

Prosecutor Sgt Merrilyn Hoskins said police were called to the scene after receiving calls about a sleeping driver.

A witness told police the car was stationary at a green light, and when he opened a car door saw the driver asleep.

The man then removed the car key from the ignition.

Sgt Hoskins said Mamasioulas had appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and told an officer he had taken two Alprazolam tablets, saying he should not have been driving as it "drowses him out".

"He said he was not asleep but trying to change the fuse for the wiper blades," Sgt Hoskins said.

Mamasioulas was taken to Gladstone Hospital and also told police he had taken Valium "and maybe a bit of weed".

However, an analysis revealed no illegal substances in his system.

Sgt Hoskins said the fact the medication was prescribed did not make it permissible to take and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive.

Facts before the court stated the driver had been prescribed a series of drugs including Valium, Zyprexa, Fentanyl, Nordiazepam, Alprazolam and Olanzapine.

Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said his client was taking the medications for chronic pain.

Magistrate Jeffrey Clarke fined Mamasioulas $750 and disqualified him from driving for six months. He recorded the conviction.

"When you get your licence back be very careful what medication you use," Mr Clarke warned him.

"You should reflect on the potential harm you could have caused sitting in traffic like that."

Topics:  crime, drug driving, editors picks, gladstone magistrates court



Daredevils pumped for track

FAST AND FURIOUS: Out-of-town company World Trail gets the nod to build a world-class pump track in Gladstone.

"I would prefer to use the local"

'Biggest meteor in years' crashes near Gladstone

FIREBALL: The Orionid meteor shower will provide a light show later this month. Photo: contributed

“This sounds like a big one, first in several years."

LISTEN: 'Fireball meteor' causes tremor in 'super sonic boom'

"FIREBALL meteor" came close to Gladstone last night, expert says.

Local Partners

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.