Drug test lands drivers in court

THREE drivers who failed drug tests were warned in court that some substances can take up to a month to leave the system.

Sean James Robb, Daniel Mark Simpkin and Tracey Lee Brown all pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to driving with a drug in their system.

In the case of Sean Robb, police said they could immediately tell something wasn't right as they watched the teenager's car along Shell St, Urangan.

The vehicle was going slowly, failing to maintain a straight line and mounted the kerb when police told him to stop.

Robb, a high school student, returned a negative breath test, but tested positive for marijuana.

He admitted to police he'd smoked a bong two hours before driving that night, July 18.

In court, Robb was fined $500, at which point his mother interjected.

"He's a student - year 12 - how is he going to pay that off?" she asked Hervey Bay Magistrate Graeme Tatnell.

"Well, he obviously can afford to pay for drugs," the judge replied.

But he changed the sentence, allowing Robb to do community service instead of paying the fine.

Simpkin was already on a suspended sentence for drug possession when police pulled him over at Howard on June 21.

Simpkin appeared "vague and distant" when questioned, and later admitted he had just rolled a joint and pulled over to smoke it in a park.

A blood test proved he had marijuana in his system and he was charged with the offence.

Lawyer Lesley Powell said in court that Simpkin's every day personality was vague and distant, so it was not a proper indication of his being under the influence of drugs.

She also said he had just come off a 14-hour shift at work when he was picked up by police.

Simpkin was concerned about having to do actual jail time, said Ms Powell, and she asked Magistrate Graeme Tatnell to not activate the suspended sentence.

"You really still haven't learnt completely that this drug is going to destroy your life," Mr Tatnell told Simpkin.

But he allowed one more 'get out of jail free' card by extending the operational period of the suspended sentence for a further six months.

He also fined him $500 and had his licence disqualified for two months.

Brown was banned from driving for six weeks after being caught with amphetamines in her system.

She returned a positive result after being stopped at a drug bus in Scarness on March 24.

She was also fined $500 for the offence.



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