A BALLARAT magistrate has condemned the use of ice while sentencing a man who was caught driving under the influence of the drug.
Magistrate Peter Couzens made the comments during the case of John Ross Wiltshire yesterday.
The 28-year-old Ballarat man pleaded guilty to exceeding the prescribed concentration of drugs, specifically methylamphetamine.
Mr Couzens said that methylamphetamine – commonly called ice – was becoming more and more prevalent in the Ballarat community.
“The court is very concerned about the use of this particular drug,” he said.
“It often features in assault related incidents.”
The court heard Wiltshire had been driving in Sturt Street on January 14 this year when he was stopped at a random breath testing site about 9.30pm.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Bob Anderson said Wiltshire had no alcohol in his system but failed the drug test.
Defence lawyer Binay Prasad admitted his client has suffered drug problems in the past, but said Wiltshire had been off drugs “for some time”.
In regard to the offending, Mr Prasad said: “he (Wiltshire) was coming back to a friend’s house, he’s admitted using a small amount of what’s known as ice”.
Wiltshire’s employer at a commercial plastering and rendering company gave evidence, saying the accused had made significant improvements to his life in recent times.
“He’s always been a good type of kid and I’m prepared to give him every opportunity to get himself back on track,” he said.
“I’ve seen significant changes with him since he’s been back working with me after the problems he had.”
Mr Couzens fined Wiltshire $500 and disqualified him from driving for three months.