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Drink and drug driving laws kick off tomorrow

By 12 May 2011 47

Territory And Municipal Services are advising that new drink and drug driving laws are coming into effect tomorrow.

The stuff on drug driving is particularly new and goes like this:

What about drug driving?

– The ACT Legislative Assembly passed new laws to permit roadside drug testing of motorists for the presence of cannabis, methamphetamine and ecstasy.
– Police are now conducting random drug testing operations in the ACT.

What is the process for drug testing?

– Drug testing is a three-step process. The first step is an oral fluid (saliva) screening test, usually conducted at the roadside using a disposable testing device.
– If this test is positive, you will be required to provide a sample of saliva for analysis. This sample will be divided into two parts.
– One part will be analysed immediately by an oral fluid analysis instrument and the other part will be sent to a laboratory for confirmatory analysis.
– If the laboratory analysis confirms that a drug is present, you will be prosecuted for a drug driving offence.
If you cannot provide enough oral fluid for analysis, you may be required to give a blood sample for analysis.

What are the penalties for drug driving?

– The maximum penalty for drug driving is a fine of 10 penalty units for a first offence, or 25 penalty units and up to 3 months imprisonment for a repeat offender.
– A court can also order a period of licence disqualification.
– It is an offence to leave the test area before testing is complete and it is also an offence to refuse a drug test.

Where do I go if I need help to address drug use and driving issues?

– The ACT Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Program 24 Hour Intake and Helpline can assist in referring drug drivers with drug dependence issues to treatment providers. Please select the following link: ACT Health
– One phone call is all it takes to access help – the phone number is 6207 9977.

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47 Responses to Drink and drug driving laws kick off tomorrow
#1
Cheap8:43 am, 13 May 11

Total bullshit. Mid range drink driving (blowing between .07 and .15) will get you 3.5 penalty units, while a few puffs of a joint before you drive will net you 10. The saliva tests are completely flawed too – depending on individual metabolism there can be traceable amounts of cannabis in your saliva up to SIX HOURS after you last smoked even a small amount.

#2
2.08:45 am, 13 May 11

Damn, Im gonna have to stop smoking crack and driving…

#3
fgzk9:21 am, 13 May 11

2.0 said :

Damn, Im gonna have to stop smoking crack and driving…

No, you do not have to stop smoking crack as crack is not being tested for. Switching to crack as your drug of choice along with the other drugs will now be encouraged.

It will be interesting to see how unreasonable pot smokers will be with police, when confronted with their “evil habits”.

#4
The Frots9:34 am, 13 May 11

2.0 said :

Damn, Im gonna have to stop smoking crack and driving…

Whoa………………let’s not get too carried away!

#5
PBO9:47 am, 13 May 11

It will be very interesting to see how the courts decide to charge as there seems to be no differentiation in detection between three minutes ago and three weeks ago.

#6
p110:07 am, 13 May 11

2.0 said :

Damn, Im gonna have to stop smoking crack and driving…

That’s right. Messages from health agencies make it very clear that smoking is bad for you.

#7
harveybones10:08 am, 13 May 11

PBO said :

It will be very interesting to see how the courts decide to charge as there seems to be no differentiation in detection between three minutes ago and three weeks ago.

I’m genuinely interested in this aspect of policing the new laws. My partner is an occasional weed smoker, once a month max, only smokes at home and never drives under the influence. I have read that cannabis can remain within the human system for up to 3 months depending on the metabolism of the individual. So say my partner was pulled over and tested a week or two after he had enjoyed a spliff on the porch, could he conceivably test positive and be charged with driving under the influence?

#8
shadow boxer10:19 am, 13 May 11

Do they have these kits in all the cars or is it a bus type set up ?

#9
fgzk10:21 am, 13 May 11

PBO said :

It will be very interesting to see how the courts decide to charge as there seems to be no differentiation in detection between three minutes ago and three weeks ago.

I believe that’s called zero tolerance “differentiation”. How did the courts go with the recent case with the 4wd drive rollover, out at the cotter? He argued he had not smoked that day.

#10
dvaey10:26 am, 13 May 11

fgzk said :

It will be interesting to see how unreasonable pot smokers will be with police, when confronted with their “evil habits”.

It will be interesting to see how reasonable police are when the driver explains their ‘evil habit’ occured a week ago. Also to see how the courts feel about the whole issue.. at least some lawyers will make a bit of money.

Along similar lines, does this mean that police will be randomly drug/alcohol tested during their shift or before they drive their vehicles too?

#11
Jim Jones10:32 am, 13 May 11

fgzk said :

It will be interesting to see how unreasonable pot smokers will be with police, when confronted with their “evil habits”.

Yeah, pot smokers are notorious for being violent and aggressive.

BWA HA HAHA AHA HAH AHHA AHA HA A HA AH … : snort :

#12
Pommy bastard10:57 am, 13 May 11

So the idiocy continues.

#13
buzz81911:25 am, 13 May 11

dvaey said :

fgzk said :

It will be interesting to see how unreasonable pot smokers will be with police, when confronted with their “evil habits”.

It will be interesting to see how reasonable police are when the driver explains their ‘evil habit’ occured a week ago. Also to see how the courts feel about the whole issue.. at least some lawyers will make a bit of money.

Along similar lines, does this mean that police will be randomly drug/alcohol tested during their shift or before they drive their vehicles too?

They already have to undertake breath analysis at the request of a senior officer, so I guess drug testing will be the same?

#14
SgtSlaughter11:28 am, 13 May 11

This really is a farce. I have every objection to people driving whilst under the influence of anything but testing of this nature is NOT I repeat NOT in any way testing for people driving whilst impaired. If I decide too i can on a Saturday night consume a gram of Cocaine or Speed or take a dozen eccies even partake in Heroin and on Moday morning if tested will be negative, however if I have a joint on Saturday and a week later if tested will be positive. These tests are idiotic in the extreme, if tested for PCA (prescribed consumed alcohol) a week after having your last drink, irrespective of how much you drink you will be negative. These tests are supposed to aid in the reduction of road trauma, prosecuting someone because at some stage in the last three weeks they had a joint or worse still were in the vacinity of someone smoking a joint they will be prosecuted for drug driving when clearly their ability is NOT in any way impaired. THESE TESTS ARE A JOKE but unfortunately those prosecuted for smoking what is a decriminilised drug in the ACT. You can grow two plants (naturally) not hydroponically and the Police can issue an on the spot fin of $100 but drive three weeks later and face 3 months in prison WTF

#15
Chop7111:45 am, 13 May 11

SgtSlaughter said :

This really is a farce. I have every objection to people driving whilst under the influence of anything but testing of this nature is NOT I repeat NOT in any way testing for people driving whilst impaired. If I decide too i can on a Saturday night consume a gram of Cocaine or Speed or take a dozen eccies even partake in Heroin and on Moday morning if tested will be negative, however if I have a joint on Saturday and a week later if tested will be positive. These tests are idiotic in the extreme, if tested for PCA (prescribed consumed alcohol) a week after having your last drink, irrespective of how much you drink you will be negative. These tests are supposed to aid in the reduction of road trauma, prosecuting someone because at some stage in the last three weeks they had a joint or worse still were in the vacinity of someone smoking a joint they will be prosecuted for drug driving when clearly their ability is NOT in any way impaired. THESE TESTS ARE A JOKE but unfortunately those prosecuted for smoking what is a decriminilised drug in the ACT. You can grow two plants (naturally) not hydroponically and the Police can issue an on the spot fin of $100 but drive three weeks later and face 3 months in prison WTF

High Ho Silver

#16
Chop7111:50 am, 13 May 11

The police were saying on the radio just a week or 2 ago that they had the power to stop people for drug tests but not to detain them waiting for the result.

So in theory you could do the test and drive off without waiting 5 mins for the result.

I would hope they have sorted this out before they start testing.

#17
Chop7111:52 am, 13 May 11

ahhh as a follow up. The laws come into effect tomorrow but they said they won’t start testing till they have the authority to detain.

So don’t fret just yet people

#18
Jim Jones12:06 pm, 13 May 11

Chop71 said :

ahhh as a follow up. The laws come into effect tomorrow but they said they won’t start testing till they have the authority to detain.

So don’t fret just yet people

Still time to smoke up and drive about randomly then.

#19
dvaey12:09 pm, 13 May 11

Chop71 said :

ahhh as a follow up. The laws come into effect tomorrow but they said they won’t start testing till they have the authority to detain.

Surely all they have to do is hold you on ‘suspicion’ of being guilty, isnt that good enough normally? How do they get away with ‘detaining’ while currently doing breath tests?

#20
Chop7112:26 pm, 13 May 11

dvaey said :

Chop71 said :

ahhh as a follow up. The laws come into effect tomorrow but they said they won’t start testing till they have the authority to detain.

Surely all they have to do is hold you on ‘suspicion’ of being guilty, isnt that good enough normally? How do they get away with ‘detaining’ while currently doing breath tests?

They don’t detain you as the result is immediate, yet the swab test can take 5 mins.

In this instance this kid got busted on Wednesday (well he was doing 170km/hr and .052 BAC)

http://www.police.act.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/act/2011/may/Police%20arrest%20youth%20after%20early%20morning%20pursuit.aspx

#21
mooo_cow12:55 pm, 13 May 11

It amazes me how the ACT Government can introduce this legislation (and include Cannabis) based around an inaccurate testing method that can not determine the difference between an impaired driver that may have smoked two hours ago or an unpaired driver that smoked two days ago.

Surely they were aware of this from their advisors; it would make for an interesting FOI request.

Well I suppose they won’t amend the legislation unless members of the legislative assembly (not implying any member is) are being done for smoking cannabis the week prior to them being randomly tested.

#22
SgtSlaughter12:55 pm, 13 May 11

Chop71 said :

High Ho Silver

I stand corrected and happily so
Metabolites may be detected in the saliva for 12 to 24 hours to a maximum length of up to 3 days after marijuana use.
Some THC metabolites have an elimination half-life of 20 hours. However, some are stored in body fat and have a elimination half-life of 10 to 13 days. Most researchers agree that urine tests for marijuana can detect the presence of the drug in the body for up to 13 days.

The fatter you are the longer the drug (THC & it’s Metabolites) are detectable because of they stick to fat cells so another reason to get off your arse and do some exercise people.

#23
Jim Jones1:03 pm, 13 May 11

SgtSlaughter said :

The fatter you are the longer the drug (THC & it’s Metabolites) are detectable because of they stick to fat cells so another reason to get off your arse and do some exercise people.

Have you ever tried to go for a run after a couple of bongs?

#24
georgesgenitals1:31 pm, 13 May 11

Jim Jones said :

SgtSlaughter said :

The fatter you are the longer the drug (THC & it’s Metabolites) are detectable because of they stick to fat cells so another reason to get off your arse and do some exercise people.

Have you ever tried to go for a run after a couple of bongs?

Depends how paranoid you are.

#25
SgtSlaughter1:41 pm, 13 May 11

Jim Jones said :

Have you ever tried to go for a run after a couple of bongs?

Now that’s just plain funny, thanks Jim ‘Got any Cool Aid?’

#26
PBO2:02 pm, 13 May 11

Jim Jones said :

SgtSlaughter said :

The fatter you are the longer the drug (THC & it’s Metabolites) are detectable because of they stick to fat cells so another reason to get off your arse and do some exercise people.

Have you ever tried to go for a run after a couple of bongs?

Once, but i forgot why and i stopped. And then it hit me…..

#27
KeenGolfer2:12 pm, 13 May 11

Cheap said :

Total bullshit. Mid range drink driving (blowing between .07 and .15) will get you 3.5 penalty units, while a few puffs of a joint before you drive will net you 10.

Where did you pluck that from? There is no such thing as “mid range” in the ACT and 3.5 PU (penalty units) is completely incorrect.

Level 1 – under 0.05, upto 5 PU 1st offence
Level 2 – 0.05 – 0.08, upto 5 PU 1st offence
Level 3 – 0.08 – 0.15, upto 10 PU 1st offence, 6 months imprisonment or both
Level 4 – 0.15+, upto 15 PU 1st offence, 9 months imprisonment or both

#28
dvaey3:22 pm, 13 May 11

mooo_cow said :

It amazes me how the ACT Government can introduce this legislation (and include Cannabis) based around an inaccurate testing method that can not determine the difference between an impaired driver that may have smoked two hours ago or an unpaired driver that smoked two days ago.

Surely they were aware of this from their advisors; it would make for an interesting FOI request.

Im fairly sure other states have had this issue and that there was a previous RA thread about this issue. Im also fairly sure that this isnt the first time the legislation has tried to be passed in the ACT and in the past it has been rejected for exactly those reasons (unable to determine impairment). What it will all boil down to is whether a high priced lawyer can find a loophole in the law. If the police are smart theyll only bother setting up drug testing units in high risk areas at high risk times, rather than setting up for drug testing on a monday morning rush hour to catch those who smoked over the weekend.

Personally Im more worried about drivers hyped up on caffeine, energy drinks and other prescription drugs than I am about a couple of stoners driving a bit slow in the left hand lane.

#29
SgtSlaughter4:05 pm, 13 May 11

At this stage there are only 2 count that 2 police Officers that have been cleared to do these tests, apparently it is quite difficult to put a cotton swab in someones mouth and then place in a tube which contains a reactant, if it turns brown?? your stuffed and then off for more thorough test.

#30
Solidarity4:26 pm, 13 May 11

I’d rather someone under the effects of Ecstacy or Cocaine behind the wheel than that of someone under the effects of Marijuana/Alcohol….

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