A MAN caught driving with methylamphetamine in his system has been convicted, put off the road and fined.
Philip Edwin Speers, 41, of Renshaw McGirr Way, Baldry, between Parkes and Wellington, appeared before magistrate Kevin Hockey in Bathurst Local Court, where he pleaded guilty to driving with an illicit drug present in his blood (second-plus offence).
Speers was arrested and charged in West Bathurst on June 21.
Tendering references, his solicitor, Kayana Theobald, told the court her client has drug and mental health issues. He lives on a farm with his parents and assists on the property.
Ms Theobald said at the time of his arrest her client had three people in the car with him, adding her client had told her that nothing about his driving brought him to the attention of police.
"It was a random test," she said.
Ms Theobald said her client didn't deny he was using ice, but since his arrest he had "turned around his life".
She said he had engaged a drug and alcohol counsellor and also sought help for a gambling problem.
She said he was suitable for the MERIT (Magistrates' Early Referral Into Treatment), but said as the court would be aware, there were delays in entering the program until November.
She said despite being an ice user for a number of years, her client hadn't used the drug for over a month now, which he put down to treatment with his drug and alcohol counsellor.
She said he realised his decision was reckless and the drugs stay in the system a lot longer than he thought, adding her client was embarrassed and remorseful but this had been a turning point in his life.
In sentencing, magistrate Hockey took into account the accused's plea of guilt at the first opportunity.
He said it saddened him "to read the references and material of people who speak so highly of you", saying it "shows the horrible, terrible impact ice as a drug has on individuals and the community".
Speers was placed on a Community Corrections Order for 12 months, fined $600 and disqualified from driving for six months.