A LONG-TIME drug user with an equally long history of offending has been fined $2000 for driving under the influence of drugs.
Ian James Roberts, 35, of Hyland Street, Warrnambool, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to drug driving and related charges.
Police said that on the afternoon of January 2 Roberts was seen leaving the Northpoint shopping centre in a Holden Commodore with no registration plates.
His car was unregistered, but he had a permit to drive it to get it fixed, although he was driving outside the conditions of that permit.
Roberts also tested positive to ice use, but denied using drugs.
A month later he was pulled over in Kepler Street and again tested positive to drug driving.
Then just after noon on April 4 Roberts was seen leaving a Kelp Street driveway.
A police officer approached him and saw he was fiddling with a McDonald’s soft drink container which Roberts was attempting to conceal under the steering wheel.
A zip lock bag and methamphetamine were found in the drink container, although Roberts claimed he spilt the container and was trying to pick up ice.
Roberts claimed to have no knowledge of the drugs, saying he rarely used drugs.
Lawyer Alex McCulloch said Roberts had a long history of drug use involving cannabis, heroin and ice.
He said his client had no contact with the criminal justice system until he was in his mid teens when he took and crashed his father’s car.
Soon after that his mother died after going into hospital for a routine operation and Roberts lost his purpose in life, leading to drug issues.
Magistrate Cynthia Toose said Roberts had long-standing drug issues but when he drove with drugs in his system he put all road users at risk.
She convicted and fined Roberts, banning him from driving for four months.
Ms Toose warned Roberts that if he came back to court for similar offending, or driving while suspended, he risked being imprisoned.