Tow truck driver took speed then drove mates home

DRIVERS continue to be brought before the Gladstone court after being caught by traffic police in random drug tests.

Magistrate Jeffrey Clarke told one driver, who took speed then set off to drive his mates home, that he should not risk throwing his job away because of methamphetamine use.

Mr Clarke said there was growing evidence drug-using drivers are causing very dangerous situations on the roads.

He made the comments when sentencing Robert John Williams, 32, a tow truck driver who pleaded guilty to driving when the drug speed was present in his system on April 18 at South Gladstone.

Police prosecutor Nina Sulzer said police stopped Williams on the Benaraby Rd while doing random drug tests on drivers, and he told them he took speed four or five hours before.

Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said Williams was not a regular user and had not been under the influence but a saliva test did show amphetamine.

She said he was trying to do the right thing by driving drunk friends home.

"He had waited a few hours more than he thought necessary. It was a low level," Ms Ditchfield told the court.

"He only ever used very randomly in a social situation."

Ms Ditchfield said Williams at the time felt no effects and thought it must be of poor quality.

If he lost his licence, his family would struggle.

Mr Clarke said if amphetamine was still in saliva this can influence driving.

"You are a mature man with huge (family) responsibilities and nearly threw it all away on this," he said.

"Reflect very carefully on your conduct that got you in this situation.

"There is a growing body of literature that people who are drug affected are creating very dangerous situations on our roads. It's also illegal."

Noting his circumstances, he told Williams to "consider yourself very lucky" and disqualified him for a month with a fine of $500.



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