View Full Version : Random Drug Testing

14th Dec 2004, 06:21
In keeping with our practice of being a world leader in such things..........

An Australian State has now introduced Random Drug Testing of motorists.
Took them 10 minutes to get a positive result at the first road block.

A conviction requires a laboratory test and takes 2-3 weeks. If convicted you face a $300 fine.

Apparently there's no need for the authorities to prove your driving was impaired so I'm not sure if this is aimed at road safety or the fight against drugs.

14th Dec 2004, 06:26
Don't do drugs.

14th Dec 2004, 06:32
How are they doing it?

Right mate, pee in this cup. By the way you're nicked for indecent exposure.

Leave no turn unstoned.

14th Dec 2004, 08:35
How are they doing it?
Saliva test ... saw it on the news the other day. The person being tested just licks the disposable swab. It's a bit like the passive alcohol test where it is just a yes/no indicator of whether or not the substance is present. Further testing is required to determine the quantity.

14th Dec 2004, 09:09
speed, whizz, sulph

poppers, liquid gold

grass, reef, ganja, blow, draw, green, marijuana, weed, hash, whacky baccy

coke, snow, Columbian, Morningside Speed


pills, sweeties, mitsies, E, doves, disco biscuits

smack, scag, junk, brown, horse, H

acid, trips, blotters, microdots

magic mushrooms


glue, lighter fuel, paint thinner

jellies (temazepam), tranx, benzos, eggs.

They must have a good number of swabs on hand, and plenty of saliva.

Feeton Terrafirma
14th Dec 2004, 11:27
Apparently the test only covers mary wanna and amfet n means. Also takes a whole 5 mins on the roadside. Me thinks I wont be volunteering 5 mins of my time. I don't mind the 30 seconds for a booze test thou.

Given the long proven aim of the guvmint here to make money from drivers I can only think this must be seen as an untapped revenue stream.

Why don't they do something about safety like propper driver training for learners? (OOOOPS that would cost money. Silly idea)

14th Dec 2004, 12:55
I don't understand why they don't extend testing for alcohol / drugs etc. to pedestrians. After all, pedestrians far outnumber drivers, especially in urban areas, where these sorts of tests are usually conducted. What's to stop an inebriated individual from wandering out into the road at an inopportune moment ? Or the same person with a propensity for violence going home and taking it out on wife & kids? Or even just going into work in a sorry state (ATC's are tested twice a day aren't they?!)...? Lots more revenue-raising possibilities with pedestrians, with a bonus that PC Plod won't need a patrol car to do it all...?! :O

Whilst I'm comfortable with the principle of suitable punishment where there has been a real prejudice (ie. loss or injury to life, damage to property etc.), most of the issues surrounding prevention appear to be ill-conceived, subject to all sorts of emotive and fiscal pressures from government and every other Joe who forms an association with an axe to grind... :confused:

To give you an example, I thought that the French system of the "permis blanc" was quite intelligent. This was a special driving licence, which in the case of the holder losing their original licence under some circumstances, allowed that individual to drive in order to continue working. To and from work, during working hours etc. If the offence was serious enough, then perhaps a prison sentence would have been mandatory as well. Otherwise, one should also consider that someone who cannot rely on public transport in order to get to / do his job, will automatically become unemployed. It can be a very direct road from there to becoming destitute. Losing home and family in short order. If prevention is all, you might as well send him directly to prison and throw away the key, put the wife in an asylum and the kids into care... :mad:

BTW, the French government recently did away with the special "permis blanc"...:uhoh:

14th Dec 2004, 13:01

Already exists, drunk and incapable of taking care of themselves for people wandering into traffic. Drunk and disorderly for those being nasty.

No equivilent for drugs though....

14th Dec 2004, 13:25
That's sort of what I mean. Is the offence (bearing in mind what I said about causing a prejudice) "drunk and incapable of taking care of themselves" or "wandering into traffic"? Put a copper at every front door. You know we'll all be safer...?! :rolleyes:

14th Dec 2004, 13:35
Hmmm, there's a similar system to the "permis blanc" in the US which is quite sensible - just as well, as you'd be lower than a Dachsund over there without wheels.

Can I clarify - purely a fixed fine in Oz at the minute, ie; no loss of licence/endorsement/ban/court appearance/getting your name in the local papers involved? Wouldn't it be great if they let your employers know? I presume it's a creeping disease in any case and will be turned into a full-blown offence - and no harm, either. The police don't need to see drug surveys of road traffic victims to know that there are some people driving out there who are whacked on E or floating on a marijuana cloud - at the minute they can give the cops the finger and walk away unless they do something really silly.

14th Dec 2004, 13:47

Drunk and incapable of taking care of themselves. By wandering into traffic you could be said be a danger and as a last resort, it would be sensisble to arrest someone doing it.

On the subject of drugs and driving, no one has mentioned, yet...that its not just wacky baccy and things you snort that cause driving to be impaired. Prescription and over the counter drugs can cause impairment and which could lead to you being arrested in the UK.

14th Dec 2004, 13:55

a genuine question and not a pi**take, neither do I want to hijack the thread - I was down home over the weekend and reading the local rag, I saw several convictions for simply being drunk - ie; hadn't crapped on anybody's bonnet, ripped up any trees, lay down on the road in front of traffic or whatever, simply being drunk. I know this is strictly speaking against the law and could lead to worse, but whatever happened to "you're bladdered son - go home"?

14th Dec 2004, 13:59
We've been demonising drink-drivers for donkey's years. Even while statistics showed that more people in certain age groups probably smoke mind-altering substances more often than drinking same and very probably doing all the things such as driving, operating dangerous machinery etc. Morality or technology? One day, humanity will ensure that 9 out of 10 newborns just don't... :uhoh: :yuk:

Mr Chips
14th Dec 2004, 14:10
We've been demonising drink-drivers for donkey's years. Just because there are other people doing the same or worse is no reason not to clamp down on murderers, sorry, drink drivers.

but whatever happened to "you're bladdered son - go home"? From my extensive experience of watching cop documentaries on Bravo :E I think that some drunks just won't get the hint.. hence the nicking....

14th Dec 2004, 15:16

Yes there is an offence of being drunk...But I can't recall anyone being convicted of it. I don't think there is any power to arrest, so its dealt with by summons only. That being said, are you sure that the reports you read were the usual press trick of not reporting everything, and they ommitted the disorderly or incapable part?

14th Dec 2004, 16:22

it happened in Ireland, although the law here is very similar. It could have been bad reporting, although other similar cases in the same paper clearly stated what the particular morons had done to be picked up for it. Equally, it could have been a "get the message" campaign by the local police, or some pre-emptive policing which I don't have a problem with.

It does strike me, though, that it's a dangerous charge - while strictly correct in a legal sense that it's an offence not to be in control of yourself, it's very subjective and open to abuse. Personally, it very rarely happens and usually accidentally, and instead of getting an urge to scream my head off/break something/assault someone/dance on a car roof/urinate in the middle of a busy dual carriageway or whatever, I crawl home quietly and sleep it off, would rarely be on my own as that's what mates are for, and would be gobsmacked if I ended up on a charge for it - in other words, I'd be no different from the vast majority of normal folk. It certainly made me think!

14th Dec 2004, 16:51
Ah, sorry didn't relaise it was Ireland you were talking about.

In England & Wales a Constable can give an expert opinon on drunkeness, which is the first part of proving either incapabale or disorderly. There used to be a drunk and indecent too, which covered urinating on a dual carriageway.

Solid Rust Twotter
14th Dec 2004, 17:02
Could take seconds with a well educated hound on hand to sniff out the turbo lettuce and other recreational substances. If hound shows interest, pull driver over and run him through the mill...

Driving home after taking your female hound to the vet to be checked out while she's in season could get you into a bit of bother, though. Just bend over and touch your toes with your elbows, Sir.......

14th Dec 2004, 19:20
Drunks and Dopefiends only cause 1/3 off the motor accidents.Why don't they pick on the people who cause 2/3 of the accidents?
The frustrating part is if someone has an accident and does harm the law allows their impairment to mitigate their accountability and subsequent punishment.If the rules on mitigation were changed and people punished for the harm that they do ,I think drunks and dopefiends in the full knowledge that they would be held accountable for any harm done by they actions would drive more carefully than sober drivers.
I can tell you that the drunk who hit me had problems with his injuries and will be very careful in the future

:E :E :E

14th Dec 2004, 19:36
I for one wouldst love to see compulsary drugs testing in Washinton DC for all the politocos, in particular at the White Haus.

15th Dec 2004, 01:00
Watch for an ernormous legal shit fight over this one.

15th Dec 2004, 03:27
In the paper today - the cops set up their "drug" van in Melbourne and started pulling people over, with the parasite media standing by. The fourth car they pulled over, some guy got done.

He is adamant that he has not puffed the magic dragon for 4 weeks. Although he may well be lying, apparently if you have been hanging out with Billy Bong Thorton any time in the last 48 hours it will show up. However if you catch up with Wesley Pipes on a very regular basis, then you won't be able to legally drive for a week after.

And here lies the legal mine field.

They are not testing for driver impairment - they are testing what individuals get up to in their spare time. Forget the moral issue of drug use for a minute as I am not sure if it is the Governments business what people do in their own time.

I suppose it is alot easier than catching real criminals.

30/30 Green Light
15th Dec 2004, 05:40
Boney,I agree that it is a legal minefield,and a lot of valuable court-time will be used up arguing the pros and cons.However,the reality is that the consumption of certain substances is illegal and it matters not whether you do it in your time or somebody elses.If Plod comes knocking on my door to tell me that I have an outstanding parking fine and I'm having my first beer of the day,there's nothing he can do about it,but if I were partaking of a spliff (which I don't) I think I would be on my way to the watch-house PDQ.You are quite right when you say they are not checking for impairment but the fact remains that it is illegal.The only way to resolve it would be to decriminalise "recreational drugs" and set up enforceable limits for driving etc.That is certainly not something I would like to see,so let the status quo remain I say.Oh well ,it's easier than catching paedophiles,rapists and armed robbers as you point out.I think I'll go and have one of those legal beer thingies.:confused:

Buster Hyman
15th Dec 2004, 07:09
Well, I just got pulled over & tested!

I tested positive for Viagra...the copper was good about it though, he said I was a bit stiff!:}

15th Dec 2004, 13:42
I suppose being given the once over by a touchy feely copper is significantly better than being given a lift to the morgue...heya coroner, here's a stiff one fer ya,! :}

15th Dec 2004, 15:06
In England & Wales a Constable can give an expert opinon on drunkeness

So can I. Slightly, moderately or extremely ;)

I am a little curious though. There are many substances out there that can impair driving to the same extent as illegal substances, and are readily available off the shelf in your nearest Boots Chemist or drug store.

15th Dec 2004, 15:20
The frustrating part is if someone has an accident and does harm the law allows their impairment to mitigate their accountability and subsequent punishment.

Yeh, I had a mate who got extraordinarilly drunk at a party, but I lied because he didn't have any mates and I told him so which made him run outside, steal a car and he made it to the end of the road before he ran into a hedge.

Got arrested and charged with "taking and driving away", "drunk driving" and "driving without insurance".

When the owner found out he was a medical student at the local hospital he didn't want to press charges so they dropped the "taking and driving" away one. I went to court to see him grovel, and the magistrate looked at his blood alcohol, asked him when he was to qualify as a doctor and banned him until that date (three and a half years into the future).

Then the beak said that with his alcohol level he had no way of knowing what the hell he was doing, so was unaware that he required insurance to drive a car, and threw that charge out.

Strange, but 100% true.

15th Dec 2004, 16:05

You are 100% correct, go to the top of the class....and the fact is that people don't realise thier driving could be impaired, even by a prescription drug. The perception by many is driving while unfit through drugs only applies to the sort of thing someone refered to as Turbo lettace. It doesn't!!!

15th Dec 2004, 16:41
Thanks bjcc. Also, to focus on an issue that has been discussed here at length, people who are fatigued (for what ever reason) are just as hazzardous as somebody DUI. I believe there were one or two studies in Australia some time ago that suggested that an individual that hasn't slept for 24 hours (shift work night shift for example) has the same cognitive abilities as somebody with the equivalent blood alcohol level of 0.05, the "legal limit" in Australia. Add an anti-histamine to the equation and it's a bad mix.