The accused’s previous convictions weighed in on his sentence. Picture: File.
The accused’s previous convictions weighed in on his sentence. Picture: File.

Drug driver learns a lesson

A LOCAL farm hand charged with driving under the influence of a drug in the Gayndah Magistrates Court on February 7 has walked away with a harsh punishment and lesson on drug detection.

Luke Charles Minchinton, 43, was intercepted by police on November 14, 2019, while driving his car on the Burnett Highway at Gayndah.

Police prosecutor Louese McConnell explained the nature of the offence.

"[Minchinton] did make admissions in relation to recent use of illicit drugs. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol was present in his saliva," she said.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the primary active component of marijuana.

Minchinton acknowledged and pleaded guilty to the charge.

The accused drug driver was recorded as having previous traffic and criminal offences on his record for which he was convicted - a drink driving charge in 2015 and unpaid tolls in 2019.

Magistrate Terry Duroux explained that, because of these previous charges, the drug driving accusation must be dealt with more severely.

Before handing down a punishment, Magistrate Duroux explained the dynamics of drug detection to the accused.

"If you choose to do drugs, some of these drugs will stay in the system for a significant period of time," he said.

"Police will come along, do the swab - it could be days, weeks afterwards - it'll still show, and the offence is complete."

A conviction was recorded. Minchinton was fined $500 and suspended from holding a driver's license for three months.