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Drug drivers busted on New Years

By johnboy - 4 January 2012 14

Three drivers tested positive to prescribed drugs from a total of 14 screening samples taken as ACT Policing’s Road Safety Operations team conducted Random Roadside Drug Testing (RRDT) and Random Breath Testing on New Years Day (January 1).

All three drivers – two males and a female – were directed by police not to drive, and their samples will now be submitted for formal laboratory testing. If the laboratory confirms the roadside test result, the drivers will be summonsed to court.

The vehicle driven by one of the three did not have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, and its registration had expired five years ago.

Drivers who screened positive for prescribed drugs on New Years Day outnumbered the drink-drivers. Only one of the 22 drivers screened at the roadside for alcohol by the RSO team returned a positive reading.

Traffic Operations’ Acting Superintendent Jeff Knight said that the three positive screenings for drugs conducted on Sunday indicated that clearly drivers were either ignorant of, or chose to ignore, the provisions of the new legislation.

“We have now conducted 141 roadside drug screening tests, with five positives detected. In the two cases which have now gone before the court, the drivers have had their licences disqualified for six months,” Acting Superintendent Knight said.

“The message should now be clear to everyone: don’t drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol, or you will be caught.”

[Courtesy ACT Policing]

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14 Responses to
Drug drivers busted on New Years
Jethro 11:58 am 09 Jan 12

aevans said :

Jethro said :

Tooks said :

Perhaps more work needs to be done on ensuring that the roadside tests can differentiate between drug driving and simply driving with traces of drugs in your system from a day earlier.

This is no different from a P Plater who has a big Friday night, sleeps it off, then drives home at 1pm and is pinged with a 0.010 reading.

Yes it is.

If you drive the next morning with alcohol in your system you are still drunk.

THC stays in the system for months afterwards. It doesn’t mean you are walking around stoned for months.

Um, no … you can have trace amounts of alcohol in your system and not be drunk. The legal limit happens to be 0.05 …..

Hence my second coment saying I had misread and that 0.01 isn’t drunk.

The legal limit for P Platers is now 0.0… I disagree with this too, as it doesn’t allow for traces of alcohol in a sober person’s system.

aevans 11:34 am 09 Jan 12

Jethro said :

Tooks said :

Perhaps more work needs to be done on ensuring that the roadside tests can differentiate between drug driving and simply driving with traces of drugs in your system from a day earlier.

This is no different from a P Plater who has a big Friday night, sleeps it off, then drives home at 1pm and is pinged with a 0.010 reading.

Yes it is.

If you drive the next morning with alcohol in your system you are still drunk.

THC stays in the system for months afterwards. It doesn’t mean you are walking around stoned for months.

Um, no … you can have trace amounts of alcohol in your system and not be drunk. The legal limit happens to be 0.05 …..

Jethro 11:23 am 05 Jan 12

Tooks said :

Perhaps more work needs to be done on ensuring that the roadside tests can differentiate between drug driving and simply driving with traces of drugs in your system from a day earlier.

This is no different from a P Plater who has a big Friday night, sleeps it off, then drives home at 1pm and is pinged with a 0.010 reading.

Sorry, I misread… 0.01 isn’t drunk.

Jethro 11:21 am 05 Jan 12

Tooks said :

Perhaps more work needs to be done on ensuring that the roadside tests can differentiate between drug driving and simply driving with traces of drugs in your system from a day earlier.

This is no different from a P Plater who has a big Friday night, sleeps it off, then drives home at 1pm and is pinged with a 0.010 reading.

Yes it is.

If you drive the next morning with alcohol in your system you are still drunk.

THC stays in the system for months afterwards. It doesn’t mean you are walking around stoned for months.

Chop71 10:43 am 05 Jan 12

So I take it they fixed the loop hole that the police were not able to detain you the 5 mins while they waited for the test results. I would have loved to see someone take the test and just drive off.

Tooks 10:35 am 05 Jan 12

Perhaps more work needs to be done on ensuring that the roadside tests can differentiate between drug driving and simply driving with traces of drugs in your system from a day earlier.

This is no different from a P Plater who has a big Friday night, sleeps it off, then drives home at 1pm and is pinged with a 0.010 reading.

Jethro 9:57 am 05 Jan 12

Beau Locks said :

This is ridiculous. Wow! Five drivers busted! Whacko! And the present system can only identify traces of drugs, not actually test for intoxication. There’s a really big difference between having a joint on Friday night and being busted driving two days later on Sunday arvo.

Of course, they can’t test for opiates, because many are available over the counter or on prescription, and heroin breaks down into morphine pretty quickly anyway. They don’t test for coke, either, which would be prudent in this town.

So, the law is actually about testing people for drug use (at some point in the last little while) and *not* about intoxication, ergo danger to other people / one’s good self. Farking stoopid, inane, and a colossal waste of our money.

The Crimes even had some plod quoted the other day banging on about how the new drug testing regime was one of the major contributors to our low road toll this year. No evidence base for this, of course. And no questioning of this seeming article of faith by the journo wot writ the piece, either.

At the end of the day, and after considerable expense, we have two people sans licence for six months, with no empirical basis on which to determine whether they were in fact rendered unsafe to operate a vehicle based on their intoxication, merely that they had drugs in their system. If we want to test for drugs in people’s systems we should just be pulling up people in Coles or Woolies. It’d be easier than stopping them as they drive down the road.

I tend to agree.

I’m all for road safety measures (anyone who is a regular reader of this site would be well aware of this); however, I do think there is a big difference between driving whilst intoxicated and driving with traces still in your system.

A conviction for drug driving would be a devastating thing to happen to you if you were a responsible driver who got done because there were still traces of THC in your system from a doobie you smoked the night before.

That being said, there does need to be some way to bust drug drivers. Perhaps more work needs to be done on ensuring that the roadside tests can differentiate between drug driving and simply driving with traces of drugs in your system from a day earlier.

James_Ryan 9:08 am 05 Jan 12

Testing drivers at the roadside for the presence of just three illicit drugs is expensive and time consuming. One of the unintended negative consequences of this poorly conceived legislation is that the police now have fewer resources to conduct roadside alcohol breath testing.

Drivers who screened positive for prescribed drugs on New Years Day outnumbered the drink-drivers. Only one of the 22 drivers screened at the roadside for alcohol by the RSO team returned a positive reading.

What a shame that Canberra Policing could only manage 22 roadside alcohol breath tests on what could easily have been their busiest day.

Testing for just three illicit drugs at the roadside, and reducing the number of alcohol breath tests conducted, makes our roads less safe.

Beau Locks 12:49 am 05 Jan 12

This is ridiculous. Wow! Five drivers busted! Whacko! And the present system can only identify traces of drugs, not actually test for intoxication. There’s a really big difference between having a joint on Friday night and being busted driving two days later on Sunday arvo.

Of course, they can’t test for opiates, because many are available over the counter or on prescription, and heroin breaks down into morphine pretty quickly anyway. They don’t test for coke, either, which would be prudent in this town.

So, the law is actually about testing people for drug use (at some point in the last little while) and *not* about intoxication, ergo danger to other people / one’s good self. Farking stoopid, inane, and a colossal waste of our money.

The Crimes even had some plod quoted the other day banging on about how the new drug testing regime was one of the major contributors to our low road toll this year. No evidence base for this, of course. And no questioning of this seeming article of faith by the journo wot writ the piece, either.

At the end of the day, and after considerable expense, we have two people sans licence for six months, with no empirical basis on which to determine whether they were in fact rendered unsafe to operate a vehicle based on their intoxication, merely that they had drugs in their system. If we want to test for drugs in people’s systems we should just be pulling up people in Coles or Woolies. It’d be easier than stopping them as they drive down the road.

KeenGolfer 12:43 pm 04 Jan 12

Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1977:

prescribed drug means—
(a) methylamphetamine; or
(b) delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol; or
(c) N,?-Dimethyl-3,4-(Methylenedioxy)phenylethylamine (MDMA); or
(d) any other drug prescribed by regulation.

gasman 12:30 pm 04 Jan 12

I think they mean proscribed, not prescribed. There is a difference.

KeenGolfer 12:25 pm 04 Jan 12

“prescribed drugs” is the wording in the legislation regarding the drugs that are tested for. It doesn’t mean prescribed drugs as per normal from a doctor.

fgzk 12:01 pm 04 Jan 12

“Three drivers tested positive to prescribed drugs from a total of 14 screening samples taken as ACT Policing’s Road Safety Operations team conducted Random Roadside Drug Testing (RRDT) and Random Breath Testing on New Years Day (January 1).”

I’m confused. I thought the new legislation did not cover prescribed drugs. I also thought that a single saliva test could not identify the type of drug. Not to mention that the last line in the release refers to impairment when the legislation clearly only deals with the presence of drugs not the level of impairment.

Ignorance is bliss.

DarkLadyWolfMother 11:51 am 04 Jan 12

Where’d they find a doctor to prescribe these drugs? I may need to change doctors!

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