A BENDIGO district tradesman, who works in Melbourne and was caught drink and drug driving the morning after New Year’s Eve in Warrnambool, has been banned from driving for 28 months.
Jeremy Bouwmeester, 33, of Sanctuary Boulevard, Maiden Gully, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to both drink and drug driving.
On top of the licence ban, he was also convicted and fined $1200.
Police said officers were manning a preliminary breath testing site on Raglan Parade at 9.30am on January 1 when they intercepted and tested Bouwmeester driving a Volkswagen Kombi van.
He blew .088 and also tested positive in an oral fluid drug test to cannabis.
Bouwmeester had at least 10 beers the night before and admitted smoking cannabis a week before at a Christmas party.
Cannabis can stay in a driver’s system for up to 28 days.
He had a prior court appearance in 2008 for drink driving and careless driving after an accident involving a former girlfriend.
Bouwmeester said he caught up with a friend from overseas in Warrnambool and had been celebrating New Year’s Eve.
He said he had been “on a road trip to no where”, woke up and felt sober, waited a couple of hours and then drove before being tested.
Bouwmeester recently shaved off his dreadlocks to raise money for charity, but he doesn’t know if he’ll keep his job after losing his driver’s licence.
Magistrrate Cynthia Toose said the combination of both drink and drug driving was extremely serious and attracted significant penalties.
She said the minimum licence cancellation she had to impose was a 28-month disqualification.
The magistrate said a message of deterrence had to be sent to the community that drink and drug driving were serious and the combination of the two attracted a lengthy minimum licence disqualifications and fines.
Ms Toose said if Bouwmeester drove during the 28-month ban he would virtually be sentencing himself to a term of imprisonment.