Drug driver convicted

A MAN was convicted and given a community corrections order for drug driving offences at Sale Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Jamie Thatcher pleaded guilty to driving while unlicensed, failing to supply an oral fluid test, and failing an oral fluid test.

In March, he was stopped for a preliminary breath test on the South Gippsland Highway near Longford.

After a preliminary oral fluid test indicated an illicit substance, he was asked to accompany police to give a sample for analysis.

He refused, and was asked if he understood the consequences of refusing, to which he replied, “I just want to go home”.

In May, he was intercepted on Hopkins Rd, Fulham.

The licence he provided had expired two days earlier.

He passed a preliminary breath test, but returned a positive reading for the oral fluid test.

A second sample was analysed which indicated methamphetamine.

Thatcher, who has since moved to the Mornington Peninsula, said he had previously attended rehabilitation last year, and was seeking help for substance abuse.

Asleep at the wheel

A MELTON South man was convicted and fined $600 in relation to an accident on the Rosedale-Longford Rd in February.

Warwick Shirreff dozed off and almost caused a head-on collision with a truck.

The truck driver was able to get out of the way, but Shirreff struck the rear of the truck’s tray.

No one was hurt, and Shirreff was convicted of careless driving.

Shirreff, a part-time courier, had made several deliveries and stops on his way from the city that day.

He suffers from sleep apnoea and was keeping to his fatigue management plan.

Magistrate Andrew McKenna said given the speeds Shirreff and the truck were travelling, he was very lucky it wasn’t worse.

“This is not a minor example,” he said.

“There may have been a worse outcome — this is all about road safety and the safety of other road users.”

Shirreff’s license will be suspended for two months on top of the fine.

Stump burning conviction

A GOLDEN Beach man was convicted and ordered to donate $1200 to the local Country Fire Authority brigade after lighting a fire during the fire danger period.

Richard McKenna lit the fire to remove a stump on his property in March this year, thinking the summer was over and he did not need a permit.

The fire danger period in Wellington Shire ended in May this year.

McKenna said the stump was away from any houses or trees, he had a hose at the ready, and the fire brigade arrived within five minutes.

He pleaded guilty to breaching the CFA Act.

Magistrate Andrew McKenna, who is not related to the offender, said the fine was a general deterrence and showed the serious public danger in lighting a fire during the restricted period.

Gippsland Senior
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