Chris Callaghan the new magistrate in Gympie.
Chris Callaghan the new magistrate in Gympie.

Gympie magistrate brings into question accuracy of drug driving science

GYMPIE magistrate Chris Callaghan has expressed doubt about the accuracy of accepted drug driving science, which claims marijuana is eliminated from the human body within three or four hours.

Mr Callaghan was commenting on repeated claims by convicted drug drivers that they had last consumed the drug days before testing positive at the roadside.

Before the court on Thursday was Paterson woman Jessica Louise-Jean Lindley, 24.

Lindley pleaded guilty to drug driving in Main St, Kandanga on September 22.

Police told the court officers conducting stationary testing in Main St booked her at 4.51pm.

She said she had last smoked the day before at 5pm.

“We’ve been informed by the Government Medical Officer and I’m starting to doubt the authenticity of the tests to which he referred,” Mr Callaghan said.

Magistrates had been told marijuana only stays in the system for about four hours, he said.

Responding to Lindley’s claim that she had last smoked the drug at about 10pm the previous evening, Mr Callaghan said, “Everybody seems to say (that).”

Mr Callaghan has frequently expressed surprise at defence claims that drug drivers had not consumed marijuana for many hours before being tested.

“It doesn’t matter to me because the offence is not one of driving while affected by the drug but simply having it in your saliva.

“It’s clear you were not intoxicated.”

Lindley said police had told her they would have taken her to hospital for a blood test if they had thought she was intoxicated.

Gympie Times


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