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June 15, 2021

Man allegedly caught driving on ice with knife and knuckle dusters

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A Lismore man who was caught by police twice in 26 hours allegedly driving while disqualified and under the influence of ice and cannabis was carrying a knife and knuckle dusters.

Nathan Opie did not appear in Lismore Local Court on Monday but was represented by solicitor Cameron Bell.

The 22-year-old is charged with three counts of driving with an illicit drug present in his blood, two counts of driving while disqualified, custody of a knife in a public place and possessing a prohibited weapon.

When Mr Opie was driving along River Street at Ballina on May 4, he was pulled over for a roadside drug test at 10.55 am.

He allegedly returned a positive reading for methylamphetamine (ice) and cannabis.

A little over 24 hours later, Mr Opie was driving a maroon Holden Commodore along Nimbin Road at Goolmangar about midday when he again encountered police.

A roadside drug test again allegedly returned a positive reading for ice and cannabis.

He was issued court attendance notices for both offences and banned from driving for 24 hours.

Then on July 12, Mr Opie was driving along Caniaba Street at South Lismore when he was pulled over by police at 10.15 am.

Mr Opie again allegedly returned a positive roadside drug test for ice and cannabis.

Officers also searched his car and allegedly found a knife and pair of knuckle dusters.

He was arrested, charged and granted conditional bail, and remained free in the community until August 28, when he was caught driving while disqualified at Byron Bay.

When Sergeant Beach looked at Mr Opie’s record, he noticed he had two outstanding drug driving matters, he was in breach of conditional bail and he was on a good behaviour bond.

Mr Opie was refused bail and on Monday at Lismore Local Court Magistrate David Heilpern adjourned his matters until September 18 so he can be assessed for the Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment MERIT program.


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