A MAN who drove after smoking a joint on Christmas Day has been convicted and fined $400 for driving with an illicit drug in his blood.
Mitchell Couling, 26, of Dart Street, Oberon, was also disqualified from driving after appearing before Bathurst Local Court earlier this month.
Police facts presented to the court told how Couling was stopped by police at 2am in South Bathurst.
He was pulled over by police south-east of the intersection of Havannah Street and Lloyds Road for the purpose of random testing.
Police asked for his licence, which he provided, and police noted he had a current unrestricted licence with a suspension pending due to demerit points loss.
Couling was subjected to a breath test which returned a negative result, however, an oral fluid test produced a positive detection to cannabis.
He was arrested for the purpose of a secondary oral fluid test at Bathurst Police Station.
Couling was cautioned and asked a number of questions. He was read a form of demand and provided a sample or oral fluid for analysis.
The sample taken on the Drager drug test device returned a result positive to THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).
The remainder of the sample was placed in a sealed vial and sent to the NSW Forensic and Analytical Science Services at Lidcombe for analysis.
In relation to the taking of drugs the accused told police: "I smoked a joint of cannabis this morning."
The sample of oral fluid returned a positive detection to THC and cocaine.
Couling represented himself in court, telling magistrate Kevin Hockey he would like the matter finalised.
Mr Hockey asked if there was anything he wanted to say, and Couling said: "No, not really."
Mr Hockey took into account the plea of guilt at the first opportunity, noting it was Couling's first major offence.
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