Drug driver’s back-up career puts tough decision on court
A potentially displaced boilermaker caught drug driving wants to pursue a backup career of commercial shooting, a court has heard.
Bradie Leigh William McCormack was caught driving with methylamphetamine in his system and faced a mandatory suspension, but with his jobs prospects in tatters, the court had to carefully consider whether he was fit for his other career option.
He was driving along Duke St at 11pm on December 1, 2020, when he tested positive to having a dangerous drug in his system.
A further lab analysis confirmed it was methylamphetamine, police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting told the Roma Magistrates Court.
The boilermaker and father-of-one faced the court with a history of committing the same offence in August 2019, and a drink driving charge in 2020.
Traffic solicitor Andrew Wiseman told the court that McCormack may require his licence to perform his work and the mandatory six month disqualification would put his employment in jeopardy, but his plan B was to do commercial shooting.
“[Weapons licencing] look at the last five years when looking at ‘fit and proper person’,” Mr Wiseman said.
Magistrate Peter Saggers asked what sergeant Whiting’s view was on having a methylamphetamine user hold a weapons licence.
“It’s always a difficult one when it affects people’s employment,” sergeant Whiting said.
“And then on the other side, when it comes to community safety, we’re talking about someone who is using methylamphetamine, so therefore it has to be acknowledged that if you are a weapons licence holder, you have a responsibility of not partaking in illicit drugs that could affect the way you use a weapon.
“As time goes on with weapons licencing, it is becoming more obvious to us prosecutors, that action is taken in relation to how people conducting them while holding a weapons licence.”
Magistrate Saggers told the court he was faced with a balancing act as to whether to record a conviction on McCormack’s history, because doing so could increase the risk of his weapons licence being confiscated.
“On balance, you’re a person with a trade, a person who provides for their family, and the fact that the mandatory disqualification period is six months, will cause you some difficulty in and of itself.”
Magistrate Saggers ruled in favour of McCormack’s family.
“I’m not wanting to add to that difficulty.”
McCormack pleaded guilty to drug driving and got a $750 fine on top of his mandatory six month suspension, but was saved from having a conviction recorded – but this being his very last chance.
“A married man with a child and a mortgage, and gets himself involved by using methamphetamine - if you keep doing it, you’re going to suffer the consequences,” Magistrate Saggers told the court.