Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Skilled legal advice with
accessible & personal attention

ACT libs want roadside drug testing

By Kramer 8 December 2009 75

The ACT opposition is planning to introduce a bill which will give police powers to test drivers for illicit drug use using an oral swab. The measure would bring us into line with all other Australian jurisdictions, which already have the powers to test for drugs.

Of course the measure is opposed by the government, who say such measure are not needed in the ACT, and the Liberals are just trying to “pick a winner”.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
75 Responses to
ACT libs want roadside drug testing
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
TheObserver 1:00 pm 14 Jan 10

I suppose this is one way to encourage greater use of public transport.

Punter 10:52 pm 16 Dec 09

fgzk, I will stand by my comment, the problem with roadside testing for prescription meds is the ‘users’ are already on the road, and testing doesn’t account for all of them. There are better ways. Don’t think I disagree with you about medicated drivers being a potential problem.

fnaah 4:44 pm 15 Dec 09

As long as the stats support it, someone with a degree backs it and the politicians call for it, then you shall have it.

You can get all three for just about any proposed wildly draconian infringement on liberty, and often enough people are dumb enough to go for it too, but that doesn’t make it right.

This kind of targeting already exists and has done so for a long time. You are really behind the times with issuing papers. We already issue steel plates with numbers on them that clearly mark you out for targeting. You know the ones. Number plates.

Having a unique identifier is very different than directly targetting me by assuming I’m guilty of something because I live in (or happen to drive through, or near) any one particular suburb or block of flats. The presumption of innocence is pretty important.

I agree with your point on prescription meds, however consier this the following: a fatigued driver suffers worse impairment than one with low-range BAC. (http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2000/pdf/Fatig_Alc.pdf) Where is the roadside test for that? Where is the law (backed by stats and several someones with degrees) that calls for all drivers to be tested for sleep regulation hormones, especially after 2am, when clearly everyone must have been awake for more than the safety-proven 17 hours?

Current methods of roadside drug testing do not test impairment, only the presence (sometimes weeks old) of a substance. The proscribed BAC was agreed upon after research to determine level of impairment at differing BACs, whereas drug driving legislation seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to the “drugs r bad, mmkay” sentiment.

westyonline 1:06 pm 14 Dec 09

i think that Horsepower restrictions on junior drivers would be a better option to push hard to make our roads safer,i agree that drugs and alcohol do play a large part in road saftey issues,but zero levels in either is just not realistic!..it would change our workplace culture for the worse,people would not be able to drive to work just because the had a panadol to treat a headache.no lunchtime drinks with clients etc,if you went away camping for a fewdays and smoked some pot,how would you still be “D.U.I.” 4 days later just because your test showed up positive at an RBT while driving to work!!..

fgzk 9:33 am 14 Dec 09

fnaah “but targetting someone for police scrutiny based on something as ludicrous as their suburb of residence is nothing short of redneck alarmist retardism.”

As long as the stats support it, someone with a degree backs it and the politicians call for it, then you shall have it. This kind of targeting already exists and has done so for a long time. You are really behind the times with issuing papers. We already issue steel plates with numbers on them that clearly mark you out for targeting. You know the ones. Number plates.

Punter. “don’t think roadside drug testing is the answer to this problem”

It so is the answer to prescription drugs. Targeting someone based on something so ludicrous as who made the drug is nothing short of redneck alarmist retardism. They impair driving, thus are a risk to other road users and have to be included in drug testing.

Punter 9:48 pm 13 Dec 09

Wow fgzk, I think the rapid team probably already test for alcohol, why not eh? For drug testing the legislation has to pass first. Rather than target particular suburbs, I think it would be better used at ‘choke points’ targetting a greater amount of people.

Tooks, perhaps the Courts need to be a little more clogged, this may provoke some harsher sentencing which, in turn may be a bit more of a deterrent.

Gee Woody, if I’ve missed your humour, I think the amount of Police I see at roadside testing points would suggest either your scenario is less likely than fgzks medical records idea, or there is widespread corruption in the Police.

Caf, I’m not disagreeing that prescription drugs can be a problem with road safety, and I’m certainly not say other states have the answer to it. Most, if not all licencing authorities have little control over what people choose to take before they drive a car. I say ‘choose’ because the choice doesn’t have to be to take the meds or not, but to choose to drive a car or not. If people are on such heavy medication prescribed by a doctor, I’m sure they’re aware of the affect it has on them to operate vehicles, heavy machinery and so on. I would place a heavy burden of responsibility on someone who takes such medication knowing it’s effects, then driving a car which can weigh upwards from one tonne, crashing it and seriously injuring or killing someone else. The RTA relies on licence holders and their doctors to advise them of any risks to driving vehicles on our roads. I don’t think roadside drug testing is the answer to this problem, it is better caught at the source. Perhaps some legislation requiring doctors to notify RTA of cetain prescriptions issued may be adopted. A better option than waiting until they’re already on the road risking yours and my health.

caf 6:21 pm 13 Dec 09

I’m telling you that the methods adopted in other states were *not* sound, and did *not* cover many prescription drugs that are actually implicated in RTAs (the most egregious example being barbituates). I have no reason to expect that we would get any better.

Woody Mann-Caruso 3:28 pm 13 Dec 09

Meanwhile, in progressive Victoria:

“Just put this swab in your mouth, and…just like I thought. Sir, this swab has tested positive for cocaine.”
“Am I under arrest?”
“No, we were just hoping you could help us score. They’ve really clamped down on the evidence locker this week.”

Punter 11:18 am 13 Dec 09

fnaah, I’m no doctor, I’m only echoing the information found in the second link in my post #58, which I did find by a google search. It seems to be the information the law makers will be relying on. Dr Odell has been involved in the laws written in Victoria regarding this subject, you can find him here http://www.vifm.org/cfmteach.html.

fnaah 11:00 am 13 Dec 09

fgzk blurted: Equip every RAPID car with drug tests. Pull over any car that has previous drug related issues and test them. Test every unlicensed unregistered driver caught. Target the roads around drug dealers, government flats, Kambah, Charnwood, dickson, peakhour, etc. You will get 1500 people a year easy. All drug users, most recidivists. If you data cross matching with medical records and emergency room records, you will pretty much be able to identify those most likely to be drug users and remove them from the road. No wasted tests and a huge saving on the community purse.

That is one of the most horrifying things I’ve read on this site. I’m going to risk invoking Godwin’s law and suggest that perhaps you’d like to also issue people with Papers and have them checked at the border every suburb? Wouldn’t want those horrible Kambahnians defecting to somewhere nice, now would we?

I’ll tell you why we aren’t already doing this: because screw that, that’s why. I don’t care what “won’t someone think of the XXXX” reasons you give, but targetting someone for police scrutiny based on something as ludicrous as their suburb of residence is nothing short of redneck alarmist retardism.

Take your neo-nazism somewhere else, thanks.

fnaah 10:45 am 13 Dec 09

As I understand it, they have no legitimate medical use

Really? Is your Google broken? You shouldn’t have a hard time finding research on the legitimate medical uses for all three substances.

Tooks 9:27 am 13 Dec 09

fgzk: Some interesting ideas there, but you’d need a lot more police and start building extensions onto the Magistrate’s Court, which will start getting very clogged up.

fgzk 9:05 am 13 Dec 09

Punter I think there is a way around that. Data matching medical records and police records.

The more I think about it there is a simpler and cheaper way. The government will want to remove from the road lets say 2000 drug users a year. There are far more drug users who have worked out for themselves that an accident isn’t a sure thing. So lets just say that 1500 people next year will lose there licence, jobs etc. from random drug tests. A lot of them could be recidivist drug drivers that the police already have information on ie drug addicts. You could still remove 1500 people from our roads with the present laws and technology for a considerable amount less than random testing.

How. Equip every RAPID car with drug tests. Pull over any car that has previous drug related issues and test them. Test every unlicensed unregistered driver caught. Target the roads around drug dealers, government flats, Kambah, Charnwood, dickson, peakhour, etc. You will get 1500 people a year easy. All drug users, most recidivists. If you data cross matching with medical records and emergency room records, you will pretty much be able to identify those most likely to be drug users and remove them from the road. No wasted tests and a huge saving on the community purse.

This will also have a huge effect on how drugs are moved around and traded. Once you start removing peoples ability to drive and confiscating their vehicle it will be a lot harder for the dealers/users to conduct business. They will have to catch a bus.

Safe roads, easy, cheap and doable right now. Why aren’t the police already doing this?

Punter 10:51 pm 12 Dec 09

Truth is I had the link all along, I just forgot about it. You can be sure it’s the bible for the RTA assessing medical fitness to drive in the ACT and other states of Oz. The trouble is medical conditions can develop after an individual has already obtained a licence, so for the majority of those times it takes a car crash for medical conditions to be identified.

fgzk 5:41 pm 12 Dec 09

Great link. We all should have a professional license. Things would be simpler and our roads safer.

I think my comments about mind frame for dexamphetamine are spot on. They have a cop out clause. The effects listed would be for a fit person without ADHD.

“17.2.6 Specialist advice may need to be sought regarding drivers who have complex conditions such as ADHD or Tourettes Syndrome.”

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site