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Drug-driving charge inspires new documentary

Criminal Lawyer Carl Edwards is interviewed by Nathan Tommasi for a documentary about drug driving laws.
Criminal Lawyer Carl Edwards is interviewed by Nathan Tommasi for a documentary about drug driving laws. Alina Rylko

TWEED criminal lawyer Carl Edwards features in a documentary on the NSW Government's controversial drug-driving laws.

The film is being directed by one of his former clients.

Nathan Tommasi, 30, had been pulled over by police at a random drug-testing stop set up on Ducat St, Tweed Heads when he tested positive for THC, admitting that he had a "joint the day before".

Mr Tommasi tested negative back at the police station and seven months later, when a laboratory test result showed a positive, he was summoned to court.

The matter was adjourned so Mr Tommasi could undertake a driving offenders' course. He had no conviction recorded and did not lose his licence, paying a fine instead.

During his experience, Mr Tommasi learnt drug-driving tests have been marred in controversy.

 

Criminal Lawyer Carl Edwards is interviewed by Nathan Tommasi for a documentary about drug driving laws.
Criminal Lawyer Carl Edwards is interviewed by Nathan Tommasi for a documentary about drug driving laws. Alina Rylko

Greens' political parties and segments of the legal fraternity have criticised the tests, arguing drivers who aren't under the influence, or have impaired driving, can still be punished with the full extent of the law for those offences.

Mr Tommasi was inspired by the debate to direct a film with fellow students at Bachelor of Film studies at SAE, Byron Bay.

A camera crew visited Mr Edwards firm, and will also interview Australian National University researcher David McDonald, Southern Cross University researcher Aiden Ricketts, and Greens MLC David Shoebridge.

"I had first-hand knowledge of how I was being dealt with, I thought it was unfair, given the fact that I wasn't impaired when I was pulled over," Mr Tommasi said.

"The police said we hate doing it to guys like yourself because clearly you're not a criminal, clearly you're not impaired, and that provoked the documentary for us."

The documentary called Hazy Perspective will be completed in May.



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