Valium dose leads to crazy drive
A MOTORIST was so zonked out on prescription drugs that he narrowly avoided crashing his car into oncoming traffic.
At Ipswich Magistrates Court this week, Nicholas Sydney Pukallus pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Matt Kahler said Pukallus had been driving in Silkstone when an off-duty police officer noticed he was "driving erratically".
Sgt Kahler said the 32-year-old was seen driving into oncoming traffic and swerving quickly to avoid collisions.
After Pukallus was pulled over he told police he had taken "more than the prescribed dosage" of Valium and Seroquel.
The incident took place on March 1.
Defence lawyer Justin Thomas said Pukallus had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and had a history of drug problems.
Mr Thomas said his client had stopped his vehicle of his own accord and didn't even realise the police had been following him.
He said the disability support pensioner had co-operated with police and was being treated by his doctor on a regular basis.
In addition to the driving under the influence, Pukallus was also charged with a string of drug-related offences.
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the driving offence was "most concerning" as he had put the safety of others at risk.
Ms Sturgess said it was fortunate Pukallus's actions didn't cause a much more serious outcome.
"When you are so heavily under the influence of drugs while driving you put yourself and other road users in grave danger," she said.
"I hope this incident was a wake-up call for you."
Pukallus was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
EVERY week The QT publishes the names of drink-drivers who have been in court in Ipswich over the past week
- VINCENT Falzon, 31, pleaded guilty to driving over the general alcohol limit in Carole Park in February 8. He was fined $600 and disqualified from driving for five months.
- BEN-LIAM Forster, 32, pleaded guilty to driving over the middle alcohol limit in Ebbw Vale on March 13. He was fined $900 and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
- ANDREW John Mcallister, 22, pleaded guilty to driving while drugs were in his system in Goodna on January 15. He was fined $200 and disqualified from driving for three months.
- ADAM Wayne Patterson, 26, pleaded guilty to driving while drugs were in his system in Purga on February 16. He was fined $300 and disqualified from driving for two months.
- AMANDEEP Kumar, 29, pleaded guilty to driving over the middle alcohol limit in Raceview on April 16. He was fined $700 and disqualified from driving for four months.