Prescription drugs involved in multi-vehicle highway crash
A BONALBO man who was involved in a highway crash while under the influence of prescription drugs has faced court.
Stephen Nicolas Capel, 42, was affected by multiple medications at the time of the multi-vehicle crash on the Great Western Highway in the Sydney region last April.
Capel faced Casino Local Court on Thursday to be sentenced for driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs.
Solicitor Philip Crick said the defence conceded it was a "serious offence" and that it crossed the threshold to a term of imprisonment.
But he asked the court to consider imposing that penalty by way of an intensive corrections order, which is effectively a prison term that's served within the community.
The court heard Capel had been convicted of the same offence twice before, although the most recent was six years ago.
"I'd suggest the sentencing assessment report is a relatively good report," Mr Crick said.
The court heard Capel had been living with "significant medical issues" which had resulted in his medication use at the time of the crash.
But Magistrate Kathy Crittenden said while this was one factor to consider, this didn't excuse placing other road users at risk.
Ms Crittenden said Capel was "significantly under the influence of a number of prescription drugs" during a busy time on the road, causing a "significant collision involving more than one car".
"One of the drivers of the other cars had a child in the car," she said.
"You were significantly affected by drugs and by chance this is just a charge of driving under the influence, rather than a far more serious charge.
"The community does not accept that you can drive around under the influence to that extent because you are in that … just showing complete disregard for the lives of other people on the road.
"That a very serious thing."
She sentenced Capel to a nine month intensive corrections order and disqualified him from driving for 18 months.