NAMED: Drink and drug drivers risking South Burnett lives
"PEOPLE deserve to be able to drive on the roads and not think the driver coming the other way is going to lose control, fall asleep or crash into them," Magistrate Sinclair said.
While most can sympathise with the self-destructive behaviour of a drug addict, drug and drink drivers are gambling with the lives of other people, which the court will not stand for.
The South Burnett Times hopes this list of will deter anyone considering getting behind to wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Here are five drug and drink drivers that faced Kingaroy Magistrates Court on Monday August 31.
Jayden Usher pleaded guilty to four drug related offences before the court, including the bright idea of smoking meth using a light bulb.
At 4pm on March 21, 2020, Usher drove a car on pound street at Kingaroy, after taking a hit of meth.
At 6.20pm on March 22, 2020, police executed a search warrant of Usher's Kingaroy address, where they located 1.5 grams of methamphetamine, as well as a pipe and straw used in connection with the smoking of the dangerous drug.
At 4.30pm on March 31, 2020, he was again intercepted by police while driving through Kingaroy, this time declaring a light bulb, which he had been using to smoke meth.
Defence lawyer Chris Campbell said "I'm ultimately pushing for fines, given my clients age and lack of criminal history."
Introduced to meth in February this year, the dangerous drug has quickly sent the young mans life into a downward spiral and landed him in court.
"As you've discovered, drugs will cause your life to become worse and worse and worse," Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said.
"If you think the fines are difficult, drugs will cost you everything. Absolutely everything."
"Methamphetamine is not fun. It's not a recreational drug. It's the thing that will cost you you're licence and your job. It is the worst drug ever designed."
For the driving offence, the 24-year-old was convicted and fined $350, which has been referred to SPER. He's also been disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for one month.
For the possession offences, he has been convicted and fined $500, which has been referred to SPER.
Conviction were not recorded.
Matthew Axelby pleaded guilty to seven drug and drug driving related charges before the court on Monday.
On April 18, Axelby was intercepted during a police patrol in Kingaroy. He was found in possession of cannabis, as well as $25 suspected of being the proceeds of an offence under the drug misuse act. While police were searching the vehicle, a bag fell out of Axelby's pants and onto the ground, which he tried to push under the car.
"The bag contained was seven smaller bags, each containing about five cannabis spuds, as well as a $20 and $5 note. A separate bag contained a further 9 grams," Sergeant Pepe Gangemi said.
On June 4, 2020, he was found in possession of methamphetamine, cannabis, and a glass pipe, plastic straw and waterpipe used in connection with smoking a dangerous drug. During the search police also located a hypodermic syringe, which he failed to dispose of in accordance with the regulations.
At 3.38pm on February 19, police intercepted Axelby's vehicle while driving on Youngman Street at Kingaroy. A subsequent drug test indicated he's been smoking meth and cannabis. He was also on a provisional licence at the time.
Mr Campbell said his client suffers from schizophrenia and had recently relapsed into a previous drug habit.
"You're the perfect example of someone who needs some assistance with you're drug habit. These things will spiral out of control," Magistrate Sinclair said.
In relation to the drug offences, Axelby has been sentenced to a nine month probation order.
"Given your history, you'll also need to comply to such medical, psychological and psychiatric treatment as is directed," Magistrate Sinclair said. He will be required to submit to regular urine testing.
In relation to the driving offence, he has been disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for 6 months.
Convictions have been recorded.
Renae Sutherland entered a plea of guilty to 13 charges before Kingaroy Magistrates Court on Monday, including drug possession, unregistered driving, drug driving, and wilful damage.
On February 25, police intercepted Sutherland while she was driving on Yarraman Street at Kingaroy. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers located methamphetamine and a glass pipe. At the time she was also not the holder of a drivers licence.
On March 22, her vehicle was again intercepted by police, this time on Haly Street at Kingaroy. She had been smoking meth and at the time was the holder of a provisional licence. A search of the vehicle revealed a glass pipe, which had been used in connection with the smoking of a dangerous drug.
On April 20, 2020, Sutherland was found driving an uninsured and unregistered vehicle at Booie.
On May 4, 2020, she was intercepted while she was driving on Haly Street at Kingaroy. She had been driving with a relevant drug present in her system, namely methamphetamine, and possessed a glass pipe.
On May 27, Sutherland was found in possession of dangerous drugs, namely cannabis, as well as a bong, scissors, and a glass pipe at a property in Booie.
On June 10, 2020, police pulled her over while driving on First Avenue at Kingaroy. At the time she disqualified from holding a drivers licence.
On July 19, she was charged with wilfully damaging property, namely a window.
For the drug offences, Sutherland has been placed on probation for 12 months.
For driving without a licence, she has been convicted and fined $250, which has been referred to SPER.
For the wilful damage, she has been ordered to compensate the $280, which she has two months to pay.
Sutherland has been disqualified for a cumulative period of three years, however she can apply to renew her licence after two years if no further crimes are committed.
For driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, she has been convicted and not further punished.
Convictions were recorded.
Kevin Douglas Lawson
Kevin Douglas Lawson pleaded guilty to a sum of eight charges before Kingaroy Magistrates Court this week.
At 9.20am on January 23, 2020, police intercepted Lawson while he was driving car on Bridge Street at Oakey. Sergeant Gangemi said he had been smoking meth and cannabis before getting behind to wheel, and was on a provisionary licence at the time.
At 1.50pm on May 29, 2020, he was again intercepted by police, this time driving on Albert Street at Kingaroy. Sergeant Gangemi said he was "glassy eyed and jittery", with subsequent tests revealing he had been driving under the influence of liquor.
During a search of the car, police located cannabis in the passenger side console, as well as digital scales, a hose piece, and bong used in connection with a drug offence.
He also had a glass pipe, a brush, and straws that had been used in connection with the smoking of a dangerous drug.
At 5.35pm on June 15, 2020, Lawson again drove a car while a relevant drug was present in his saliva on Bunya street at Dalby. Sergeant Gangemi said he told police he'd had "three cones that morning."
At the time he was also disqualified from holding a licence at the time.
Defence lawyer Bonnie Djordjevic said Lawson uses cannabis for pain relief, having previously broken his back.
"You're driving a vehicle, which weighs between 1 and 2.5 tonnes at up to 100km per hours towards babies, little old ladies, pensioners, just going about their business driving down the road," Magistrate Sinclair said.
"They don't think there's much excuse for drug users to arm themselves with a weapon like that, and deal with their problems by killing them, or turning them in quadriplegics and paraplegics, which is what drug offenders do to other people."
"If you choose to sit home and take drugs, you'll ruin your own life. If you drive a car under the influence of drugs, you are at significant risk of ruining someone else's life."
The 27-year-old has been sentenced to a one year probation order, and must submit to therapy and frequent urine testing.
For the four driving offences, Lawson has been disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for a cumulative period of three years.
John David William Thomson
John David William Thomson entered a plea of guilty to two drug and drink driving related offences before the court on Monday.
At 3pm on June 2, 2020, police attended a single vehicle traffic crash on Barkers Creek Road at Booie. Thomson's car had flipped onto it's roof and he was trapped in the car.
According to police prosecutor Pepe Gangemi, Thomson's speech was slurred at the time of the incident. After he was transported to hospital, he was found to be over the middle alcohol limit (BAC 0.18) and a subsequent search revealed 50 grams of cannabis in his pants.
According to Defence Lawyer Chris Campbell, Thomson had been verbally and "somewhat physically" assaulted.
For possessing cannabis, the 27-years-old has been convicted and fined $500, which has been referred to SPER.
In relation to the UIL, he has been convicted and fined $1300 and disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for 15 months.
"I'm glad you didn't crash into someone else. People deserve to be able to drive on the roads and not think the driver coming the other way is going to lose control, fall asleep or crash into them," Magistrate Sinclair said.
"It's the one thing we all do everyday that could kill someone."
Convictions were recorded.