Police v JG

Key words:

Driving under the influence of drugs (amphetamine) – s.32 Mental Health (Forensic Procedure Act – defendant discharged – dismissal of charges

Facts:

JG ran a business as a landscape gardener. On the way home from a country work site, JG ran into the back of a truck causing his vehicle to be written off and causing extensive injuries to his body.  Whilst in hospital a blood test revealed the presence of amphetamines in his blood stream.  JG agreed that he had had amphetamines in the hours prior to the collision but asserted that the reason that he was using amphetamines was that he had adult ADHD and had not been prescribed a medication for his condition.

A psychological report and psychiatric report revealed that JG had been diagnosed with ADHD as an 8 year old boy and had been medicated with Ritalin from the age of 8 until 18.  However, at the age of 18 the medication had been stopped as it was not to be prescribed for adults with ADHD.  The psychiatric report, however, revealed that JG did have a present diagnosis with adult ADHD and ought to have been described dextroamphetamine and so a prescription was written up after the incident.

An application under s.32 of Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act asserting that the Court discharge and dismiss the matters that was put before the Downing Centre Local Court.

Outcome:

The Local Court Magistrate agreed that the use of amphetamines was an apparent effort by the accused to self-medicate in the absence of appropriate psychiatric medication.  The Learned Magistrate agreed that the offender’s traffic record was otherwise very good and that in all the circumstances, especially given the effort that JG had made in rehabilitating himself and avoiding illegal drugs (urinalysis reports documented the absence of legal drugs in his system over a long period of time), that the matter could be appropriately dismissed under s.32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act.