ACT Policing will commence random roadside drug testing today (Monday, May 16).
Traffic Operations Officer-in-Charge Sergeant Jeff Knight said that random roadside drug testing will be rolled out gradually, with the view to conduct drug testing in similar ways to drink driving operations.
“This is the first time motorists in the ACT will be subjected to random roadside drug testing. As we build the team and experience to enact this new capability, we will work towards targeted random roadside drug testing operations in line with our other traffic campaigns,” he said.
Police will use an oral (saliva swab) to test if a driver has drugs—cannabis, methamphetamine and/or MDMA (ecstasy)—in their system. People unable to undertake an oral saliva swab will be tested through blood tests.
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Unlike alcohol testing, there is no level or limit for prescribed drug content. The offence relates to the presence of the drug, an active ingredient of cannabis, methamphetamine and/or MDMA, in the blood or saliva. An independent and qualified laboratory will undertake the analysis of the drug tests to confirm the presence of drugs in the system.
Legislation to enable random roadside drug testing of motorists on ACT roads came into effect on 1 December 2010. The legislation allows for the use of both blood and oral testing, targeted and random.