Skipper won’t lose licence for drug drive
A SKIPPER of a commercial vessel will keep his licence after he was caught drug driving at Auckland Creek.
Daniel Scott Fields pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday to one count of driving a vessel while a drug was present in his saliva.
The court was told Fields has worked as a professional commercial fisherman for more than 30 years, however, he had a history of drug driving.
Fields’ most recent offending occurred on October 15, 2019 at Auckland Creek.
Magistrate Dennis Kinsella told the court police were doing boat checks at the marina.
“In the course of doing that, you were drug tested,” Mr Kinsella said.
Fields returned a positive result to marijuana.
“This is the concerning component,” Mr Kinsella said.
“The Gladstone community relies upon commercial fishing and marine cargo transportation.
“This is important for someone in your position, the safety of the crew and other users of the waterways need to be protected.
“Even in circumstances where someone has dedicated such a significant part of their life to this industry, it should be expected they will be disqualified from driving … even if it results in them losing their job.”
However due to Queensland legislation Mr Kinsella said disqualifying Fields from operating a vessel was not mandatory.
“If you were on the road you would be faced with a one- month disqualification,” Mr Kinsella said.
“But you are in a senior position.”
Mr Kinsella said it was the exercise of discretion that would determine if people were disqualified for this type of offence.
Mr Kinsella did not disqualify Fields from operating a vessel however he placed him on a nine-month probation order.
A conviction was recorded.