NAMED AND SHAMED: 15 South Burnett drivers caught
WITH an astounding 598 recorded cases of traffic-related offences throughout the South Burnett region last year, it's high time local residents took more notice of the consequences foolish actions can have on the rest of your life.
Fortunately no people were killed or seriously injured in these incidents but most of the drivers on this list have been convicted and will have to live with this tarnish on their criminal record for the rest of their lives.
The South Burnett Times has compiled a list of some of the region's most irresponsible drivers who were caught and faced court for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the past 12 months. Starting next month we will be reporting every name who is found guilty in court of drug or drink-driving.
This monthly list of shame will hopefully act as a deterrent to drivers around our region. If you don't want everyone to know you have put the lives of other motorists at severe risk through irresponsible behaviour, then simply don't drink or drug drive.
'YOU WERE HOLDING STUBBIES': DRUNK DRIVER JAILED
Gordon Dennis was sentenced to six months' jail after he was found clutching a six-pack of beer on the side of the road while telling police he was not driving, despite being the flipped car's sole occupant.
He was charged with the dangerous operation of a vehicle while being intoxicated on July 13, 2018.
The 42-year-old pleaded guilty to 10 charges in Kingaroy Magistrates Court on January 21, 2019.
As well as the jail term, Dennis' licence was disqualified for 12 months.
He was fined $520 for two counts of driving an uninsured vehicle and $260 for not driving in a safe condition.
His licence was disqualified for a further three months for being a repeat offender of driving without a licence.
His licence was also disqualified for another two years for driving on a suspended licence.
P-PLATERS PUNISHED FOR DRIVING WITH DRUGS IN SYSTEM
A WEEK after returning home from a music festival, 19-year-old Swickers employee Dylan George Coleman tested positive for drugs while driving in Kingaroy.
The P-plater was intercepted driving on Knight St on August 3, 2019, and tested positive for methamphetamine.
In Kingaroy Magistrates Court in November, he was disqualified from driving for three months and fined $300.
Zachary James Valentine told the Kingaroy magistrate he accepted he made the wrong decision when he got behind the wheel after taking marijuana.
The P-plater tested positive on Walter Rd in Kingaroy at 7.14pm on August 24, 2019.
"I understand I broke the law, made a bad mistake and won't do it again," he said.
He was disqualified from driving for one month and fined $300.
DRUG DRIVERS CAUGHT OUT FOLLOWING POSITIVE TESTS IN TOWN
Olivia Ellen Marshall tested positive for ecstasy and MDMA on Moonya St in Kingaroy last year.
She was fined $300, her licence was disqualified and a conviction was recorded.
Taking drugs to curb knee pain because he had run out of medication cost a single father.
Kyle George Coleman tested positive to methamphetamine driving on First Ave on August 30.
He was fined $500 and was disqualified from driving for three months.
Magistrate Louisa Pink warned Nathan James Wood he would lose his freedom if he continued to drive with drugs in his system.
Police intercepted Wood driving his Holden sedan on First Ave on August 28.
Wood, who has three convictions of either drink or drug-driving in five years, was fined $750 and disqualified from driving for eight months and a conviction was recorded.
DRIVER FINED AFTER HAVING BEERS FOR BREAKFAST
Brett Hatchett had beers for breakfast after a big night of drinking before crashing his car on his way to buy more.
Hatchet pleaded guilty to two charges in Kingaroy Magistrates Court on Monday, April 15.
He was fined $250 for failing to have proper control of a vehicle and $1000 for driving under the influence of alcohol.
His licence was disqualified for eight months, due to already having it disqualified for one month, with convictions recorded.
MUM INSTRUCTS L-PLATER SON WHILE THEY'RE BOTH ON DRUGS
In June 2019 Deborah Rose Petith was instructing her learner driver son, Jaden Ronald Petith.
Police drug-tested the pair, who were in a Ford wagon, on Alford St in Kingaroy.
Police prosecutor Pepe Gangemi said the mother and son both tested positive to marijuana.
Deborah was fined $250 for being in charge of a vehicle while a drug was present in blood or saliva, and was disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for one month. Her son was fined $300 for driving with a drug present in his system.
He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for three months.
MAN SAYS HE SMOKED A JOINT YET TESTS POSITIVE FOR ECSTASY
While drinking at a Nanango hotel, Donald Edward Pearce was offered a joint from a group of young ladies.
At a roadside drug test on Kingaroy St at 1.20pm on August 25, 2019, Pearce tested positive for ecstasy.
The father of two is paralysed in his right arm after a tree fell on him in an accident six years ago, for which he is on medication.
Pearce had previously been caught drug-driving and this time around was fined $450 and disqualified from driving for two months.
MAN WITH PREVIOUS HISTORY DROVE EIGHT BLOCKS HOME DRUNK
Roger John Maher decided to drive eight blocks instead of walking them, and it proved to be costly.
When he was intercepted by police driving on Douglas St in Murgon on October 20, 2019, he was slurring his words and blew 0.12.
Magistrate Louisa Pink questioned why Maher, who has a history of drink-driving offences, didn't walk.
In addition to drink-driving, checks revealed his driver's licence had expired in 2018 and police also found a pipe in his car.
Police prosecutor Barry Stevens questioned when Maher would learn his lesson.
"How many times does Mr Maher have to be told that it is totally unacceptable to be drink-driving?" he said.
"He is a danger to himself and other road users."
Maher was fined $800 for drink-driving and disqualified from driving for five months.
For driving without a licence, he was fined $150, and for possession of a pipe he was placed on a three-month good behaviour bond with a recognisance of $250.
MAN ACCIDENTALLY KILLS DOG, CRASHES CAR IN DRUNKEN RAGE
What started as just another day of work for Matt Hughes ended in tragedy when he rolled his car twice in a drunken rage after accidentally killing his dog, the Murgon Magistrates Court heard in April last year.
Hughes, who is from the Burnett region but now lives on the Sunshine Coast, tied his dog to the towbar of his RAV4 and went in for a drink at the Hivesville Hotel after work on November 30, 2018.
He left in a hurry when he was threatened and forgot he had tied his dog to his car.
Hughes was fined $1000 for animal cruelty as it was not alleged to be deliberate, with $250 to be paid to the RSPCA.
For driving while suspended he was convicted and fined $300 and disqualified from holding a licence for one month.
For driving under the influence, driving without due care and attention, possessing dangerous drugs and utensils and two counts of public nuisance, he was placed on probation for 15 months.
For driving under the influence he was disqualified from holding a licence for 15 months, taking into account two prior convictions in five years.
He was disqualified from driving for six months for driving without due care and attention, to be served concurrently.
REPEAT DRUG-DRIVER BUSTED IN KINGAROY
A Kingaroy woman who started smoking drugs at the age of 12 faced Kingaroy Magistrates Court after getting behind the wheel with drugs in her system on two occasions.
Kaylene Gai Jones tested positive to methamphetamine and marijuana as a provisional driver on Avoca St, Kingaroy, at 3.26pm on May 5, 2019.
Three months later, on August 20, she drove a truck on Youngman St.
A falling out with that family was allegedly the reason behind her recent drug use.
Jones had previous convictions for drug-driving from 2016 and 2017.
For both offences, Magistrate Louisa Pink sentenced Jones to a nine-month probation order to help her rehabilitation efforts.
She was also disqualified from holding a licence for seven months for the May offence, and a further seven months for the August offence.
WOMAN TELLS COURT SHE'S OFF DRUGS: 'I'M STRAIGHTY-180 NOW'
A 39-year-old woman told the Kingaroy magistrate she'd pulled her socks up and was no longer taking drugs.
Trudy Roselyn Sempf faced Kingaroy Magistrates Court on January 4 last year charged with drug-driving.
Magistrate Ross Woodford warned Sempf she was collecting a substantial history of drug-related matters.
"One of these days you'll be affected by drugs and you'll get behind the wheel of a car and take somebody's life," he said.
Sempf told the court she was now seeing a counsellor.
"I cannot do that to my kids, your honour. I'm straighty-180, I'm doing my counselling, I've had enough of bad boyfriends and a bad life," she said.
"I'm turning 40 and I've pulled myself together. I'm legit now, straighty-180."
Magistrate Woodford convicted and fined Sempf $800 and disqualified her from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for six months.
DRUNK DRIVER TRIED TO SWITCH SEATS WITH PASSENGER
Buddy James Bradley Stanley lost his licence last January after driving drunk and trying to switch seats with his passenger after being pulled over.
Police prosecutor Barry Stevens told Murgon Magistrates Court Stanley was driving a car on the Bunya Highway at Ficks Crossing on December 16, 2018, when officers pulled him over for a routine check.
Magistrate Louisa Pink told Stanley he was a risk to others on the road.
The magistrate convicted and fined the 20-year-old man $800, and disqualified him from driving for six months.
The conviction was recorded.