An Airlie Beach man escaped time behind bars for drug driving.
An Airlie Beach man escaped time behind bars for drug driving. contributed

Court leaves serial drug driver with 'no second chance'

A SERIAL drug driver has copped a warning from the court as his drug use edges him closer to time behind bars.

Benjamin Maxwell Gillan, of Airlie Beach, started using illicit drugs at the age of 25 years and it has been a downward spiral in the court system ever since, his solicitor Elizabeth Smith told a court this week.

"When he is starting using drugs in his 20s, he began using quite heavily, which is consistent with his history,” Mrs Smith told Proserpine Magistrates Court.

"His history is against him, he has three previous drug drives and more in his traffic history.”

The now 41-year-old fronted court after he was sprung by police for drug driving on Shute Harbour Rd in Airlie Beach on July 13.

Magistrate James Morton said it was a concern to see a father-of-two with ongoing employment continue to struggle with drugs.

"When are you going to get off the drugs? You're 41 years old,” Mr Morton said.

"At some stage you have to grow up and say the excuses aren't going to work any more. The court is soon going to say, 'we've given this man all these opportunities'.”

This was Gillan's fourth drug driving offence and he was found with a mix of drugs in his saliva.

Prosecutor Robert Beamish said Gillan told police at the time that he'd 'shared a joint of cannabis at Magnums Hotel that night', while Mrs Smith gave the court an explanation for the detection of methamphetamines.

"He'd smoked some meth a week prior at a party but says at the time of driving he wasn't feeling the effects,” she said.

"He had some drinks with friends that night and said perhaps something went into his drinks, but he can't take that any further.”

Mrs Smith argued a suspended period of imprisonment would be in range for Gillan, though she warned such a result would leave him without a 'second chance'.

After pleading guilty to one count of drug driving, Gillan was sentenced to two months' jail, suspended for two months and he was disqualified from driving for five months.