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Roadside drug testing comes ever closer

By johnboy 5 May 2010 158

The Liberal’s Jeremy Hanson is celebrating in principle support in the Legislative Assembly for his Random Roadside Drug Testing bill.

Apparently this is going to build on the “success” of the Victorian legislation in this area.

So what other random searches shall we start up in ever more panicked fear of ourselves?

What’s Your opinion?


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Roadside drug testing comes ever closer
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Voice of Reason 7:23 pm 24 May 10

Unfortunately Reality Check, the ACT gvernment isn’t interested in implementing “the right system”. Instead, in all likelihood it’ll simply adopt a system from Victoria. The same Victorian programme that has failed to improve road safety or reduce the rate of drug driving.

Roadside drug testing is being introduced in the ACT for political purposes. It has nothing to do with improving road safety.

Stanhope knows the Victorian “evidence” (and I use that term loosely) is flawed. He knows there is zero evidence suggesting that the Victorian programme has been successful. Regardless, his discussion paper refers to such evidence in terms that could only be described as misleading at best or otherwise downright dishonest.

Reality check 9:37 pm 23 May 10

Voice of Reason said :

Voice of Reason said :

From that comment and your previous posts, it sounds like you’d support it if the testing established levels of drugs present so that drivers who were impaired were charged.

Is that correct?

If so, and if roadside drug testing is implemented that tests only for a presence however significant or insignificant, will you be prepared to oppose it publicly?

RC, where’d you go?

I agree the right system needs to be implemented.

Having said that, if testing could only find presence of drugs in the system, not quantity (which I believe they actually can determine using blood/urine tests) I still believe it would be a useful tool for Police to target known offenders – if “hard” drugs could be tested for, even better. It could be used in situations other than simply road-side testing. That’s just my opinion…

Voice of Reason 8:56 am 22 May 10

Voice of Reason said :

From that comment and your previous posts, it sounds like you’d support it if the testing established levels of drugs present so that drivers who were impaired were charged.

Is that correct?

If so, and if roadside drug testing is implemented that tests only for a presence however significant or insignificant, will you be prepared to oppose it publicly?

RC, where’d you go?

Pommy bastard 10:31 am 21 May 10

vg said :

ExFeds said :

Do you think any members of the ACT Police have bothered in the past to drag a motorist to the hospital for drug tests (bloods) in the event that a PBT failed to show over 0.050 BA? DUI

Yep, I know so

You also “knew” about the “Listerine mouthwash urban myth”.

dvaey 3:45 am 21 May 10

Reality check said :

The report I read online …. included cannabis, methylamphetamine and ecstasy as the drugs to be tested for. There was no mention of further tests to determine quantity – but as far as I can see – the legislation has NOT been drafted, ideas are being thrown around…

The explanation I heard, is that the technology simply doesnt exist to quantatively test for impairment. Its not like alcohol which is metabolised in the body within an hour or two. Also, with alcohol the effects can be gauged and a concentration of .05 is accepted as intoxicated. With other drugs, especially for long-term users, these values can be much more variable.

Voice of Reason 10:03 pm 20 May 10

Reality check said :

The report I read online (March 2010 – http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/186549/Drug_Driving_in_the_Territory_an_overview_of_issues_and_options.pdf) included cannabis, methylamphetamine and ecstasy as the drugs to be tested for. There was no mention of further tests to determine quantity – but as far as I can see – the legislation has NOT been drafted, ideas are being thrown around… Happy to be proven wrong if someone has a actual source of verified information.

RC, it’s the Victorian model that has been adopted.

Reality check said :

fgzk and Woody Mann-Caruso – you seem to know more than we do about what’s in store – cite your source or direct me to where they have listed their full intentions for this testing.

There is no intention to assess the level of drug in the sample, just as there is no intention to even attempt to establish a level of intoxication or impairment.

I do agree that drug testing needs to be implemented – very much so – but I agree it has to be done right or it will not be an effective tool to remove impaired drivers from our roads.

From that comment and your previous posts, it sounds like you’d support it if the testing established levels of drugs present so that drivers who were impaired were charged.

Is that correct?

If so, and if roadside drug testing is implemented that tests only for a presence however significant or insignificant, will you be prepared to oppose it publicly?

Reality check 5:51 pm 20 May 10

Voice of Reason said :

Reality check said :

If you read my posts again – you’ll see I was proposing a comprehensive road side testing program – encompassing all illicit drugs, and a test of quantity. I have not, at any time, proposed that the Victorian policy should be adopted here.

So you’re not supportive of the ACT government’s proposed model for roadside drug testing then?

The report I read online (March 2010 – http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/186549/Drug_Driving_in_the_Territory_an_overview_of_issues_and_options.pdf) included cannabis, methylamphetamine and ecstasy as the drugs to be tested for. There was no mention of further tests to determine quantity – but as far as I can see – the legislation has NOT been drafted, ideas are being thrown around… Happy to be proven wrong if someone has a actual source of verified information.

fgzk and Woody Mann-Caruso – you seem to know more than we do about what’s in store – cite your source or direct me to where they have listed their full intentions for this testing.

I do agree that drug testing needs to be implemented – very much so – but I agree it has to be done right or it will not be an effective tool to remove impaired drivers from our roads.

vg 10:43 pm 19 May 10

ExFeds said :

Do you think any members of the ACT Police have bothered in the past to drag a motorist to the hospital for drug tests (bloods) in the event that a PBT failed to show over 0.050 BA? DUI

Yep, I know so

ExFeds 9:10 pm 19 May 10

Do you think any members of the ACT Police have bothered in the past to drag a motorist to the hospital for drug tests (bloods) in the event that a PBT failed to show over 0.050 BA? DUI

Voice of Reason 5:49 pm 19 May 10

Reality check said :

If you read my posts again – you’ll see I was proposing a comprehensive road side testing program – encompassing all illicit drugs, and a test of quantity. I have not, at any time, proposed that the Victorian policy should be adopted here.

So you’re not supportive of the ACT government’s proposed model for roadside drug testing then?

Pommy bastard 4:53 pm 19 May 10

johnboy said :

But where’s the advantage in giving yourself an artificially high reading?

Time to metabolise or excrete, take a piss, jog on the spot etc, anything that will enable you to lower your blood alcohol concentration. Also a chance for the adrenaline hit from being pulled, knowing you are over the limit, to have an effect and speed up your metabolism.

It could make the difference between a lost license and a slap on the wrist.

To counter this, officers are not supposed to administer a PBT for 15 minutes after the subject eats, vomits, or puts anything in their mouth. In addition, most instruments require that the individual be tested twice at least two minutes apart. Mouthwash or other mouth alcohol will have somewhat dissipated after two minutes and cause the second reading to disagree with the first, requiring a retest.

In another study, reported in 8(22) Drinking/Driving Law Letter 1, a scientist tested the effects of Binaca breath spray on an Intoxilyzer 5000. He performed 23 tests with subjects who sprayed their throats and obtained readings as high as 0.81—far beyond lethal levels. The scientist also noted that the effects of the spray did not fall below detectable levels until after 18 minutes.

georgesgenitals 2:48 pm 19 May 10

johnboy said :

But where’s the advantage in giving yourself an artificially high reading?

If you thought you were over the limit, you could trot out the listerine as you’re being pulled over, pleading a sore throat. Gargling would then elevate your breath test, but the police would know about the listerine, which would have tainted the breath test. They would then either:
a) let you go; or
b) detain you for a period of time before reperforming the test, during which you would continue to sober up, bearing in mind that there is still the time taken to get you back to the police station to perform the authoritative test.

FWIW, I don’t advocate this, and don’t drive if I’ve had more than 2 standard drinks. In fact, I’d be surprised if the police haven’t dealt with this sort of system before.

fgzk 2:16 pm 19 May 10

VR I am an idiot as you rightly pointed out. It was “Reality Check” RC I was writing to. Thats twice I have made that mistake. I do appologise for any ofence I crerated.

Sorry
fgzk

Please change all the above posts from VR to RC “Reality Check”. Sorry for the confusion.

p1 2:14 pm 19 May 10

But where’s the advantage in giving yourself an artificially high reading?

I guess you would insist that you were not really that drunk and they need to take you to the station and conduct a more accurate test, thus giving your body more time to eliminate the alcohol actually in your blood. This would only be to your advantage if you thought you were over the limit, but also thought that your BAC would be below the limit in the time required to organise the retest.

I suggest such a limited set of circumstances would be somewhat unlikely to happen on the same day you have your mouthwash with you.

Pommy bastard 1:18 pm 19 May 10

vg said :

I love how the old Listerine mouth wash urban myth finally got trotted out

VG; Listerine can be used to give a person more time to metabolise the alcohol in their system. Using it as a moyuth wash when pulled over, a perfectly legal thing to do, means teh police will get a way wrong reading.

So my point stands. Change it to sherry trifle if you want to be a pedant.

This was clearly illustrated in a study conducted with Listerine mouthwash on a breath machine and reported in an article entitled “Field Sobriety Testing: Intoxilyzers and Listerine Antiseptic” published in the July 1985 issue of The Police Chief (p. 70). Seven individuals were tested at a police station, with readings of 0.00%. Each then rinsed his mouth with 20 milliliters of Listerine mouthwash for 30 seconds in accordance with directions on the label. All seven were then tested on the machine at intervals of one, three, five and ten minutes. The results indicated an average reading of 0.43 blood-alcohol concentration, indicating a level that, if accurate, approaches lethal proportions. After three minutes, the average level was still 0.020, despite the absence of any alcohol in the system. Even after five minutes, the average level was 0.011.

    johnboy 1:26 pm 19 May 10

    But where’s the advantage in giving yourself an artificially high reading?

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