Father-of-three Benjamin Graham Urquhart was grossly under the influence of drugs when he was caught driving two passengers on a disqualified licence on the Nicklin Way, Buddina.
Father-of-three Benjamin Graham Urquhart was grossly under the influence of drugs when he was caught driving two passengers on a disqualified licence on the Nicklin Way, Buddina.

Drug-addict driver busted 'off his head'

A DRIVER "off his head" on drugs could barely open his eyes or speak when police found him behind the wheel on one of the Sunshine Coast's busiest stretches.

When Benjamin Graham Urquhart was pulled over on the Nicklin Way, Buddina, early Tuesday morning he claimed it was to help one of two similarly intoxicated passengers seek medical help.

But when paramedics checked, they determined there was no emergency and the passenger Urquhart had referred to declined help and walked away.

The 38-year-old pleaded guilty in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court to six charges, which tipped the "long-term drug addict's" traffic history into its ninth page.

The court heard Urquhart was driving an unregistered, uninsured car with "dodgy" number plates while under the influence of drugs, and his licence had been disqualified by a court order.

The father-of-three was drowsy, unsteady, his speech was slow and confused, and he was sweating profusely.

Only months earlier, Urquhart served prison time for evading police and the court heard his eight-page criminal history was riddled with dishonesty-related offending which suggested an escalating drug habit.

As Magistrate Michael McLaughlin condemned Urquhart for putting others' lives at risk, a police officer had to escort one of the defendant's supporters from the courtroom as she loudly objected "they were prescribed drugs".

Blood test results taken at the watch house were not available when Urquhart appeared before the court, but Mr McLaughlin said his behaviour suggested that of someone on opioids.

"It's sad enough you are destroying your own life with drugs, but to drive... is selfish and completely disrespectful to other users," he said.

Urquhart was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for the disqualified driving charge and a concurrent three months for driving under the influence, to serve one third and four months' parole.

He was disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for three years, convictions were recorded, and he was discharged absolutely on the other four offences.



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