Truck driver had speed in rig
USING amphetamines has proved to be an unwise fatigue management strategy for an interstate truck driver who appeared in the Warwick Magistrates Court this week.
Peter John Evans, 39, of Young in New South Wales, was caught in 2007 and 2008 with the drug in his rig, along with utensils.
Evans pleaded guilty to the charges on Wednesday, during a stopover in Warwick on a Sydney to Brisbane run arranged by his employer, so he could attend court here.
But as it turned out, alternative measures had to be employed to get his truck back down south, with Evans banned from the road for a month.
His drug use has also proved costly, with Magistrate Andrew Cridland slapping him with a $2000 fine as well.
The court heard Evans had previously failed to appear in court on his drug charges, the first of which stemmed from December 2007 when he was pulled over in Brisbane by police officers from the organised crime squad who were doing heavy vehicle checks.
Evans was found with 0.6 grams of white powder in his truck on that occasion, along with a spoon and knife implement used to administer the drug.
He told police he had not used amphetamines or “speed” for a month, which interestingly enough was the same tale he told police at Cottonvale, near Stanthorpe, in August 2008.
Police who pulled him over at that time for a log book check and random breath test asked Evans if he had any drugs in the truck and he replied he didn’t.
But the officers noticed Evans was nervous and while searching the cab they observed him grab his shirt pocket and a short time later located an M&M’s chocolate container with a clip seal bag inside containing white powder and another with residue, along with a tell-tale plastic spoon.
His defence counsel told the court Evans had decided it was time to “finalise” his charges, hence his fronting up to court this week.
The court heard Evans was working for a different trucking company these days with better scheduling practices, which meant he did not have the same need for speed to fight fatigue.
His lawyer argued that due to this change in circumstances and the length of time since originally being charged that no disqualification from driving was necessary.
But Mr Cridland, after a short adjournment during which he considered the matter over a cup of tea, took a different view and banned Evans from the road for the minimum period of one month.
He told Evans it was appropriate due to there having been two separate offences and his twice-used story to police that he had not taken speed for a month prior to being intercepted.