Four-time drug driver off the road
A REPEAT drug driver was caught offending in two southwest towns, with the incidents only one week apart, a Roma court has been told.
In Roma Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Michael James Ries pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while a relevant drug was present in his blood or saliva as the holder of a learner, probationary or provisional licence.
Ries was first intercepted by police on October 16 at 6.55pm on McDowall St in Roma, where he returned a positive reading for methamphetamine on a probational class C licence.
He was intercepted again on October 25 on Drayton St, Dalby, and returned another positive reading for methamphetamine.
In both cases, Ries told police he had smoked methamphetamine one week prior to driving.
Appearing on a warrant from Dalby Magistrates Court, Ries had little to say for himself in front of the magistrate, other than to acknowledge two prior drug-driving convictions in the past three years.
The most recent offences brought Ries’ total number of drug-driving incidents to four and the magistrate warned him that number of offences would usually garner prison time.
“In the situation you are in, with two previous convictions, the maximum penalty is nine months in prison,” magistrate Peter Saggers said.
“A lot of people don’t realise drug driving carries prison time just like drink driving.
“Considering this is your third and fourth offence in three years, and you need to note this, you could have gotten a prison sentence.”
However, Mr Saggers decided against the maximum penalty and instead suspended Ries’ licence for two periods of six months.