Four weeks to have your say on random drug testing

johnboy 28 May 2010 95

[First filed: May 27, 2010 @ 10:12]

Exposure guide cover

Jon Stanhope is asking what you think about a draft drug driving bill and regulation.

“This Bill gives ACT police new powers to conduct random road side drug tests to detect the presence of illicit drugs such as cannabis, methylamphetamine and ecstasy using an oral fluid screening test,” Mr Stanhope said. “It also gives police the authority to request a driver to undergo a blood test if they have reasonable grounds to believe the driver is affected by a controlled drug that cannot be detected by the oral fluid screening test.

“Under the new laws, people involved in road accidents will also be required to provide a blood sample for testing.”

Mr Stanhope said the legislation supports existing laws that make it an offence to drive while impaired by a medicine.

“Many motorists are unaware that it is unlawful to drive a vehicle if their ability to drive safely is impaired by a prescription medication or an over-the-counter medication,” Mr Stanhope said. “This Bill makes it clear to motorists using such medications that they need to ensure they are fit to drive before they get behind the wheel.

Comments close on 24 June 2010 and should be made to:

Email:
communityengagement@act.gov.au

Postal Address
Community Engagement and Communications
GPO Box 158
Civic ACT 2601


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95 Responses to Four weeks to have your say on random drug testing
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p1 p1 11:49 am 13 May 11

Pommy bastard said :

Is the feedback Stanhope got from this consultation availavble?

Was it ever made public?

Nah, Stanhope deleted everything from his hard drive when he quit. Every public consultation for the last ten years no longer exists.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 11:01 am 13 May 11

Is the feedback Stanhope got from this consultation availavble?

Was it ever made public?

Davo111 Davo111 5:05 pm 19 Jun 10

imho these drug tests should only be used if the police have proper suspicion. Keeping people waiting in their cars for 5 minutes is BS. Also, i heard they cost $40 each to administer the drug test?

haplogroup haplogroup 4:50 pm 19 Jun 10

Beware!

The next thing on their list will be storing our DNA from these tests.

One has to wonder just what sort of a world we really want to live in.

Do we really want to head towards totalitarianism: where the government gains limitless authority to regulate every aspect of our public and private lives. At what point along that path do we say, “Stop! That’s enough!”

ex-vectis ex-vectis 11:59 am 19 Jun 10

Well, from the news, we see that our Voice of Reason was spot on. My trust in what our esteemed Government tells us goes down yet another couple of notches.

Blathnat has it about right. I too (in my long past yoof) have driven on alcohol and on weed. And have to admit to heart palpitations every time i remember (it is pure luck that I never killed anyone – drunk or stomed driving is dangerous; end of story) those times and am quite ashamed of it.

In the UK, the ‘freedom’ idiots have managed to prevent the use of ‘random’ stops (and even have managed to ensure that ANY speed camera – mobile or fixed – has to have a million warning signs! Never understood that…) for anything. Personally, I think random stop-tests are great as it means you can never quite be sure if you will be stopped and tested on your next journey or not. In 20 years of UK driving, I was breath tested only once. After 4 years in ACT, I’ve been tested six times – fantastic.

However, my concern is that the road-side drug test may not be reliable and a good lawer would be able to get a conviction quashed quite easily. If I walk past someone smoking a joint and breath in the smoke as I pass – will the test register and convict me? If I consume a trace of MDMA (Ecstasy) because the person who served my coffee and bun had taken an E and therefore had traces on their hands, would I test positive and be charged?

So, is the THC/MDMA roadside test accurate and what are the driving limits (as with alcohol and driving)?

Voice of Reason Voice of Reason 5:48 pm 16 Jun 10

Beau Locks said :

VOR @ #88: if this is true I wonder what other ‘consultations’ that have been done (or will be in the future) by our wonderful government are similarly tainted. I feel for the people and organisations that are putting in the hard yards to write a submission and get it in by the due date.

Exactly! From my experience the typical community org approach is to position submissions within the workplan according to due date. These things tend to get finalised within a day or two of the deadline if you’re lucky.

What can the community read in to a consultation period that effectively ends a week or more before the due date?

“We don’t care what you think.”
“We know everything already.”
“Community opposition would only be inconvenient.”
“Consultation with the community is not necessary.”

Any other interpretations?

Beau Locks Beau Locks 10:12 pm 15 Jun 10

VOR @ #88: if this is true I wonder what other ‘consultations’ that have been done (or will be in the future) by our wonderful government are similarly tainted. I feel for the people and organisations that are putting in the hard yards to write a submission and get it in by the due date.

Voice of Reason Voice of Reason 11:37 pm 12 Jun 10

Hmmm … the plot thickens.

A little birdie told me today that this consultation period is effectively a sham and that Tams will be completing their work on this legislation in the next couple of working days.

Any submissions received from about mid-week onwards stand no chance of influencing the drafting of the legislation at all.

Why then is the consultuation period still advertised as ending 24 June if the government knows that this is not the case?

If this is true, how democratic is this approach to consultation Mr Stanhope? You’ve been critisised heavily in the past for poor consultation. It is a terrible shame if you have stooped to a slight of hand such as this in order to stimy opposition to this crappy policy.

Blathnat Blathnat 4:02 am 10 Jun 10

Wow, this seems to have turned from a discussion into a pissing contest pretty quickly. I’m all for breath testing (and for that matter making it compulsory for all cars to have one of those breathalyser thingies attached to the starter motor) as long as it actually works. I’m a person who enjoys a billie, and in the beginning I felt uncomfortable driving under the influence, but over the years it’s one of those things that I have become more at ease with. I will admit that there have been times when really shouldn’t have been driving, but then there are also times that I have driven under the influence of alcohol.
My main beef is that I dont think it will be organised properly. RBT’s while effective, are mismanaged. They’ll be set up on major roads, at ‘peak’ alcohol times (not once have I seen an RBT after about 1am) and, as its been pointed out, is random. The only smart thing I’ve noticed about them, is that they are often set up close to areas known for high alcohol consumption (Civic, near pubs/clubs etc). How exaclty are you going to target drugs in this way? Most users will use at home, away from populated areas.
So (and this may have already been mentioned but Im too stoned to read through a wall of text) is this random drug testing going to be conducted on its own, or is it going to be in addition to breath testing at RBT’s? Because to be honest, if they’re targetting the same areas, like the major roads to and from town centres, then its just a waste of resources.
Personally, I think the govt should legalise marijuana, produce and tax it like tobacco, and crack down on the harder drugs that in most cases, arent taken regularly (except by addicts, and well, they aren’t likely to be driving anyway)

ex-vectis ex-vectis 7:07 pm 09 Jun 10

Jim Jones said :

ex-vectis said :

Drug driving just as dangerous as Drink driving.

… and twice as fun.

ROFL!

Voice of Reason Voice of Reason 4:16 pm 09 Jun 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

F*cktard.

Why is it your signature doesn’t align with your user name?

My point that you obviously missed relates neither to death camps nor murder. Furthermore I don’t consume Maccas soft cones or any other types of cones for that matter.

My objection to Stanhope’s drug driving legislation is based on the many points I’ve detailed in this thread and the last. Unless caffeine at normal levels of consumption is a drug capable of impairing my driving, I’ve personally got nothing to fear from a roadside drug test any day of the week. In short, you’re wrong in your assumption that my position has anything to do with my own drug use.

How about you stick to the subject on hand instead of resorting to personal attacks. Personal abuse in an online discussion is basically the same as waving a little white flag. When you go there, it’s because you’ve got no other way to make a point.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 11:28 am 09 Jun 10

A yellow star perhaps?

Yeah, it’s a short and slippery slope from getting dangerous drivers off the road to putting people in death camps. Your appropriation of the murder of six million people to support your desire to drive to Maccas for a soft serve cone after your other cone is apt and justified. F*cktard.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 10:52 am 09 Jun 10

ex-vectis said :

Drug driving just as dangerous as Drink driving.

… and twice as fun.

ex-vectis ex-vectis 8:57 am 09 Jun 10

Drug driving just as dangerous as Drink driving. Nothing more dangerous than a hippy driving along the parkway in a smoke filled car at 10Kmh thinking they are driving fine.

But a stoner driving in ACT would probably be safer than all the other crazy drivers (my driving, obviously, is perfect. Its all the others…. lol).

Ok, serious hat on. Yes, random drug testing of drivers may be a good thing as long as it doesnt trap those who are innocent of ‘drug driving’. What are the ‘limits’ for drug-driving? We have limits for drink-driving, so what are the limits for drug driving? If someone is at a dinner party and has a cone, does it mean that if they are tested anytime in the following week, will it be positive and they be charged?

(Just to go totally off-topic….) The worlds drug laws, as dictated by the US, are a total farce anyway. All they have succeeded in doing is wreaking lives and pumping money into the hands of organised crime and terrorist groups. Personally (and controversially!) I advocate the total legalisation of ALL substances, but with the appropriate ‘government warnings’, punitive tax and regulations. Yes, an adult (or even Over 21 only) could pop into their local Bottle, Weed and Powder Shop and buy 5 grams of Skunk Anise and 500mg Cocaine. But if caught driving under the influence of either (IE. More than 45ug THC per litre blood, or 50ng Cocaine per litre of blood – numbers i just made up as examples) then the person would a very heavy penalty! It would also mean that people who developed problem’s/addictions would be able to be seek help easier (as they do with tobacco or alcohol). But most of all, the huge tax $$$$ levied would help enormously. I do not disagree with anyone who says ‘drugs are bad’ – in the same way as I dont disagree with folk who say tobacco is bad or that alcohol is dangerous. All of them – the illegal and legal – carry their own risks; you may stick cocaine up your nose and drop dead or have a beer and kill yourself in a driving incident that may not have happened had you not had that beer which slightly affected your reaction time.

And ‘fgzk’, I have seen more road accidents in ACT than in the rest of Australia or the UK. Read what you like into that….

Wow, now there was a pre-9:00am rant – I may go back to bed and try getting out the other side 🙂

Voice of Reason Voice of Reason 8:24 am 09 Jun 10

One said :

Bag me but dont pick out the following Myth of BS that having your head in the sand is a legal defence

“Many motorists are unaware that it is unlawful to drive a vehicle if their ability to drive safely is impaired by a prescription medication or an over-the-counter medication,” Mr Stanhope said. “This Bill makes it clear to motorists using such medications that they need to ensure they are fit to drive before they get behind the wheel”

THIS BILL IS A LOAD OF CRAP – WHY NOT FIRST AUDIT MEDICAL RECORDS AND LICENSE DETAILS OF THE RICH!

Yeah, the previous legislation made that clear too.

If lack of awareness is really the problem, then an awareness raising campaign would make better sense than new laws.

Stanhope is full of it.

One One 1:28 am 09 Jun 10

Bag me but dont pick out the following Myth of BS that having your head in the sand is a legal defence

“Many motorists are unaware that it is unlawful to drive a vehicle if their ability to drive safely is impaired by a prescription medication or an over-the-counter medication,” Mr Stanhope said. “This Bill makes it clear to motorists using such medications that they need to ensure they are fit to drive before they get behind the wheel”

THIS BILL IS A LOAD OF CRAP – WHY NOT FIRST AUDIT MEDICAL RECORDS AND LICENSE DETAILS OF THE RICH!

Voice of Reason Voice of Reason 9:21 am 06 Jun 10

PrinceOfAles said :

As I was skimming over the proposed legislation I came across one nasty and dangerous part. The part where it says a police officer may detain you for a blood test even if you come up clean on an oral test. It is my contention that this is a breach of civil rights. What about the many people in the Berra that may suffer from some sort of psychological condition that could possibly mimic signs of drug use. People who have every legal right to drive. I`m all for people being blood tested after an accident or whatever, but to just be able to pluck people off the street and say to them “you`re gonna have to come down to the hospital for a test because I don`t like the look of you” is a travesty against humanity. Police are unable to detain you if you test negative for alcohol on the side of the road so what is different about drug driving? I will be writing to every MLA I can think of rallying support to oppose this piece of the legislation. Don`t get me started on a “presence” based conviction either.

Yes, alarming to say the least.

For police to “suspect on reasonable grounds” is pretty open-ended and potentially fraught.

What if police pull over a person who is on their way to a syringe disposal bin to responsibly and appropriately dispose of used syringes? If that person has a zero alcohol reading and screens negative for drugs, will the presence of a box full of used syringes amount to “reasonable grounds” for a blood test? What about a box full of used syringes plus the person being known to police as a drug user? Sounds like a pretty big disincentive to appropriately dispose of syringes if doing so risks drawing attention to yourself for a blood test. May as well just chuck them in the creek or re-use the ones you’ve got rather than take the risk.

What about no box of syringes but the person being known to police as a drug user? Is knowing a person’s drug history enough to reasonably suspect? If so, this gives police the power to demand blood tests based on who people are rather than the result of a process that’s applied to all drivers. Scarey. Perhaps we could make it a little easier for police and have known drug users wear some kind of identifier so that they get the kind of attention they deserve? A yellow star perhaps? Maybe we could maintain some kind of register and tattoo a number on their forearms to help keep a track of everyone? That’s worked well in the past apparently.

PrinceOfAles PrinceOfAles 4:50 am 05 Jun 10

As I was skimming over the proposed legislation I came across one nasty and dangerous part. The part where it says a police officer may detain you for a blood test even if you come up clean on an oral test. It is my contention that this is a breach of civil rights. What about the many people in the Berra that may suffer from some sort of psychological condition that could possibly mimic signs of drug use. People who have every legal right to drive. I`m all for people being blood tested after an accident or whatever, but to just be able to pluck people off the street and say to them “you`re gonna have to come down to the hospital for a test because I don`t like the look of you” is a travesty against humanity. Police are unable to detain you if you test negative for alcohol on the side of the road so what is different about drug driving? I will be writing to every MLA I can think of rallying support to oppose this piece of the legislation. Don`t get me started on a “presence” based conviction either.

PBO PBO 11:20 am 04 Jun 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Here’s what some amateur Googling turned up:

– profiling can be effective if it’s purely focused on behaviour
– in practice, this can be difficult because it requires the observer to shed or supress a range of other social, cultural and political biases; the costs and effects of badly-done profiling can outweigh the benefits of any successes
– profiling people in airports isn’t actually much different to profiling boxes after all – it’s all about origin, destination, timing of visit, length of stay etc
– profiling is vulnerable to probing – an attacker (terrorists, drug mule syndicate etc) can repeatedly send people through (or simply observe) to see what triggers additional attention, then adjust their behaviour accordingly
– profiling with ‘permanent memory’ is bad; for example, no targeting a person because they were previously clear
– racial profiling is worse than random targeting for border security, counter terrorism and police work
– unless your people are highly skilled and preferably defending an asset or position (say, a trained officer watching a security gate) rather than roaming looking for people, you’re probably better off with random targeting
– random targeting isn’t anywhere near as easy as it sounds, either, because it’s easy to construct what appear to be neutral selection criteria that inadvertently segment the population, and even if they are truly neutral, people will fail to apply them neutrally

Fascinating stuff!

You forgot “Face Control” at nightclubs (Academy, Cube I am looking at you two), why do you think that there is only two fat girls in those clubs at any one time?
legal reasons…….

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 10:12 am 04 Jun 10

Here’s what some amateur Googling turned up:

– profiling can be effective if it’s purely focused on behaviour
– in practice, this can be difficult because it requires the observer to shed or supress a range of other social, cultural and political biases; the costs and effects of badly-done profiling can outweigh the benefits of any successes
– profiling people in airports isn’t actually much different to profiling boxes after all – it’s all about origin, destination, timing of visit, length of stay etc
– profiling is vulnerable to probing – an attacker (terrorists, drug mule syndicate etc) can repeatedly send people through (or simply observe) to see what triggers additional attention, then adjust their behaviour accordingly
– profiling with ‘permanent memory’ is bad; for example, no targeting a person because they were previously clear
– racial profiling is worse than random targeting for border security, counter terrorism and police work
– unless your people are highly skilled and preferably defending an asset or position (say, a trained officer watching a security gate) rather than roaming looking for people, you’re probably better off with random targeting
– random targeting isn’t anywhere near as easy as it sounds, either, because it’s easy to construct what appear to be neutral selection criteria that inadvertently segment the population, and even if they are truly neutral, people will fail to apply them neutrally

Fascinating stuff!

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