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Drug driver “wanted to get home”


By Lachlan Ellis

A driver who was under the influence of drugs when he crashed into another vehicle has been served a four-figure fine and a period off the road, admitting he shouldn’t have been driving at the time.

Indiana Richards appeared via livestream, in custody for a separate County Court matter, and entered a guilty plea to drug driving in the Bacchus Marsh Magistrates’ Court.

Police Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Smith told the court on Friday 23 June that Mr Richards hit another car on the freeway, while under the influence of ice late last year.

“The accused was driving a white Isuzu truck east on the Western Freeway in Gordon. He was driving in the left lane when the front of his vehicle collided with the rear of a Mazda station wagon which was also travelling east. The accused stopped his vehicle in the right emergency lane,” Leading Senior Constable Smith told the court.

“The Mazda span out of control and hit a wire barrier. Police attended, a PBT (preliminary breath test) was conducted, and an oral fluid test subsequently done, all done with prescribed devices. The analysis indicated there was a drug, being methylamphetamine, in the accused’s saliva. During the field interview he became agitated and refused to answer questions.”

Magistrate Timothy Bourke remarked that Mr Richards was, “relatively young” and asked the circumstances around the crash.

Mr Richards said he had considered pulling over before the accident, but made the wrong decision to continue driving.

“I was on my way home from an event in Ballarat, we’d been working extensively over the past seven days…I was pretty wrecked, I should’ve stopped. I thought to myself, I shouldn’t drive, but I just wanted to get home, you know, back to Melbourne,” Mr Richards said.

“It ended up pretty bad. Before I knew it, I’d rear-ended this poor bloke on the freeway and he spun out of control.”

Mr Richards was convicted and fined $1,000 for the drug driving charge, and his licence was suspended for six months.