TRUCK driver Lucas Bourke had a cup of coffee, got back into his long-haulage truck and later ran up the back of a car in front of him.
The crash on the Hume Highway was possibly linked to the drink that other drivers at a rest stop said should give him a lift.
But it wasn’t the caffeine — it’s believed the coffee might have been laced with methamphetamine.
That’s the explanation his solicitor gave to Wodonga Magistrates Court yesterday for Bourke driving while having a prescribed concentration of a drug in his system.
He had also failed to properly fill in his log books.
The case — stemming from that crash near Craigieburn about 4pm on August 28 last year — was one of two involving drug-drivers in court yesterday.
It went before magistrate John Murphy just minutes after he predicted drug-driving cases would soon outnumber the number of drink-driving matters before the court.
But unlike the earlier case where the accused admitted taking methamphetamine, Bourke, 30, of Leeton, had no memory of taking the drug.
Bourke had delivered his load to Melbourne and was returning to Leeton when he crashed into a car in the left-hand lane in front of him.
No one was seriously injured, but police were still required to test him for alcohol or drugs when they arrived at the crash site just before 5pm.
They were alerted to the possibility of Bourke having taken drugs after watching him sweat profusely.
He appeared to be confused and was not able to walk properly.
Police told the court yesterday that testing revealed Bourke had methamphetamine in his system.
His explanation was that the drug was put into his coffee by another truck driver at a rest stop to help him get over his fatigue.
Bourke said he was given the promise that “I’d be all right now”.
Mr Murphy said although Bourke had no previous drug convictions — but did have three priors for drink-driving — the matter was serious.
Mr Murphy told Bourke to put himself “into the shoes of the person you ran into the back of”.
Bourke was convicted and fined $1500, with $110.40 court costs, and banned from driving for 12 months.
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