P-plater’s birthday celebrations end in woe
A P-plater caught with drugs and a knife while driving drunk the day after his birthday has been given a “horrific fine”, but a Noosa magistrate said he has bigger problems.
Magistrate Maxine Baldwin told Sameet Preetesh Raju in court the New Zealand citizen could be deported if he received a jail term for his offences.
Raju pleaded guilty in Noosa Magistrates Court on Tuesday to possessing dangerous drugs, utensils or pipes and a knife in public, and driving over the middle alcohol limit while on a provisional license.
Police prosecutor Alison Johnstone told the court police pulled over Raju’s vehicle, which had four passengers, after they had observed him speeding on April 19.
Seargent Johnstone said police detected a strong smell of liquor coming from the vehicle before Raju gave a reading of 0.111.
She said the 20-year-old admitted to doing four or five lines of cocaine to celebrate his birthday the day before the offence and told police there could be drugs concealed in the car.
Police found 3.3g of marijuana hidden under the driver’s seat and electrical scales in the driver’s door pocket which Raju said was owned by his girlfriend who was not present at the time of the search.
Seargent Johnstone said police also found a single-edge knife with a homemade handle which the defendant said he used for fishing.
Defence lawyer Bernard Bradley said Raju was put on two years’ probation in March 2020 for drug-related matters in the Brisbane Supreme Court, however this was his first drink-driving charge.
Mr Bradley asked Ms Baldwin to consider his client had already been suspended from driving for three months.
Ms Baldwin said the alcohol reading was “difficult to stomach” given Raju was a P-plater and disqualified him for six months.
Raju was also ordered to pay $1600 which Ms Baldwin described as a “horrific fine”.