Drugged truck driver gets payout from cops
A TRUCK driver who tested positive to methamphetamine at a Maryborough roadside is back behind the wheel and more than $2000 richer following a district court victory.
This is after the local sentencing magistrate warned the community did not want "juiced up" truck drivers on its roads and imposed the maximum penalty available to him.
Colin Hay, 28, had traded in his job as an electrician to start a trucking business with a partner when he was stopped by police for a routine registration check in July last year.
A saliva swab returned a positive reading for an unknown concentration of methamphetamine and another drug.
He pleaded guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court last September to one count of driving a motor vehicle while a relevant drug was in his system.
Defence lawyer John Willet argued his client was not driving dangerously and did not feel affected by drugs at the time.
He said Mr Hay had since started attending Narcotics Anonymous, owed $40,000 on a mortgage for a second truck and hoped to buy a house in the "fairly near future".
But Magistrate Ross Woodford said he took the matter "seriously" and imposed an $800 fine and nine-month licence disqualification.
"The last thing I want to be is out on the highway, someone coming towards me in a truck who's all juiced up on drugs... I don't want that," Magistrate Woodford said
"There are innocent road users out there.
"People driving down with their system full of drugs, I don't appreciate that. The road toll is too high."
Mr Hay appealed the sentence in Maryborough District Court on the grounds it was "manifestly excessive".
Judge Ian Dearden allowed the appeal following a December hearing.
In his decision, released this week, Judge Dearden found there was "no evidence whatsoever" that Mr Hay was impaired by drugs when he drove and given his personal and business circumstances, together with his commitment to rehabilitation, a three-month disqualification would have been more appropriate.
Queensland Police was ordered to pay Mr Hay $2,099.44 in costs.
Mr Hay's licence was returned to him on February 2.
- ARM Newsdesk