Drug drivers face wrath of disgusted Warwick magistrate
MAGISTRATE Bevan Manthey slammed irresponsible drivers yesterday, saying he was scared by how many Warwick drivers were driving while under the influence of meth or marijuana.
Mr Manthey was clearly disgusted, with 34 drug driving offences before the court.
Nineteen-year-old Canningvale man, Elliot James Carey, pleaded guilty to drug driving, after testing positive for methamphetamine after being intercepted by police.
In considering his sentence, Mr Manthey said he had to consider the drugs involved and the danger to the public.
"It scares the bloody hell out of me that these people are on the road, especially on meth," he said.
Mr Manthey said there were many considerations when it came to sentencing.
"I have to consider the drug and the danger to the public," he said.
"It scares the hell out of me that these drugs could not be detected before.
"Only bloody 19, an inexperienced driver, and put himself in this situation with bloody illegal drugs in his system, it's not like it was alcohol, which is at least legal."
Mr Manthey said drug drivers could expect to lose their license if they appeared before him in court.
"Particularly when we talk about cannabis - it's in the system for three months, which can be longer than the period of disqualification," he said.
Carey was fined $500 and disqualified from driving for three months.
Mr Manthey issued a stern warning to Carey about the disqualification.
"It's just not worth the bloody risk. I've heard all the bullshit excuses," he said.
"You could face up to 18 months' jail and two years' disqualification."
"You need to go to Queensland Transport after the period of disqualification is finished to get your licence," he said.
The warning was repeated to each drug driver that faced court yesterday, with a specific warning for a 45-year-old Warwick man.
Edward Arthur Compton pleaded guilty to drug driving after police intercepted him on October 24 on Myall Ave.
Compton was also fined $500 and disqualified from driving for three months.
Upon hearing the sentence, Compton said he had hoped "it wasn't going to be for that long."
Compton went to leave the courtroom but was stopped by Mr Manthey.
"I haven't finished with you," he said.
"It's the same warning but now specifically at you because you took off and you are pissed off.
"You will do jail time if you are caught (driving unlicensed)."
Mr Manthey said disqualified driving was a real problem in the area.
"If you are caught driving, it is basically flipping the bird at the court," he said.