A WERRIBEE man learned an expensive lesson after his license was disqualified for driving with cannabis in his system.
Luke Cuell, 35, pleaded guilty to failing an oral fluid test within three hours of driving at the Horsham Magistrates' Court on Monday, July 19.
On December 18, 2020, at 8.45pm Cuell was driving along the Western Highway when he was pulled over by highway patrol in Kiata.
During the stop, officers asked Cuell to undergo an oral fluid test, which returned a positive result.
He accompanied the officer to a mobile testing centre and underwent a second oral fluid test; it was later found to contain traces of tetrahydrocannabinol.
Cuell, who travels between South Australia and Victoria for work, told officers he had used the drug the night before the incident.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt recounted Cuell's history of prior driving offences before handing down the sentence, which included a 2018 drink driving infringement and other minor driving offences in South Australia.
Cuell told the magistrate that he had stopped using cannabis in the months leading up to the offence, but began using again due to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I understand that this may be a particularly stressful time for you ... however, last year a third of all accidents in 2020 involved alcohol-affected or drug affected drivers," Mr Klestadt said.
Mr Klestadt disqualified Cuell's license for 12 months and fined him $350.
"This is about safety and having your wits about you 100 per cent of the time," Mr Klestadt said.
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