Dad goes for drive for pies and fuel, is busted drug driving

A GYMPIE father caught driving with marijuana in his saliva has lost his licence, despite his best efforts to argue with the magistrate.

On July 30, this year, police conducted a random roadside drug test on Renzi Carl Bell after he pulled off the Bruce Highway into a petrol station.

Bell, 43, was taken to the Gympie Police Station to provide another sample, and tests revealed he was driving with traces of marijuana in his saliva.

Bell, a father of five, told police he had smoked marijuana four days before, and had just gone for a drive to buy some “pies and fuel”.

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Magistrate Chris Callaghan said he had never heard of the drug staying in somebody’s saliva for that long before, and said even if he had smoked marijuana less than four days before being caught, it would not have changed the charge.

He told Bell he was not charged with being affected or intoxicated, just with having the drug in his saliva.

“As the government is determined that should be an offence,” he said.

Bell pleaded guilty to driving with a relevant drug present in his saliva, and was fined $150 and disqualified from driving or holding a licence for nine months.

Bell argued with the magistrate over the disqualification period, saying it was unfair for a first time drug offence, but Mr Callaghan said his hands were tied in sentencing due to previous high range drink driving convictions against Bell.