In recent times, the NSW Police have introduced random roadside drug-testing…
aimed at cannabis, MDMA & amphetamines#.
This is a very blunt tool though and the test used can identify THC in the bloodstream hours, days and sometimes weeks afterwards. Consequently many people are losing their driving licences despite NOT being “under the influence”. Effectively, pot-users are being penalised not because their driving is impaired but because they were exposed to cannabis sometime in recent living memory.
The Nimbin HEMP Embassy acknowledges that cannabis can impair driving and would support roadside drug testing IF it was based on preventing this. As the test now stands, it is simply one more weapon in the culture war which has been waged on illegal drug users for decades. An accurate scale of intoxication and how this impairs driving ability needs to be established.
#Interestingly, the test is not tuned to detect cocaine or various prescription drugs that actually DO impair driving abilities. Funnily enough, these also seem to be the drugs-of-choice of cops, lawyers & politicians.
This evaluation study in the US apparently shows that the introduction of laws that allow for the medical use of marijuana actually improves road safety. Link to Full Paper
Performance evaluation of on-site oral fluid drug screening devices in normal police procedure in Germany [Forensic Science International]
There is a need for quick and reliable methods for rapid screening of drug-influenced drivers on the roadside by police. Because the window of detection in oral fluid is more similar to blood than to urine, this matrix should therefore be appropriate for screening procedures. The performance of the Rapid STAT® (Mavand Solution GmbH), DrugWipe5/5+® […]
Roadside Saliva Testing: Defence of “honest and reasonable mistake of fact” It is an offence to drive with THC present in your saliva. Police can stop a driver for no particular reason and require them to provide a saliva sample. If there is any amount of THC found in the sample, the charge is made […]
February 2016 – Source The Northern Star Defence lawyer Steve Bolt used Tuesday’s forum [in Lismore NSW] to spell out a line of defence to cannabis users. He offered the audience the advice they should visit the NSW Government’s Centre For Road Safety‘s web page, Drugs and Driving, and read the section that states ‘cannabis […]
Test Date: 10th February , 2007 The HEMP Embassy purchased a number of Drugwipe Twin saliva tests, as used by the NSW Iemmabago. They cost around $40 each. We tested them over a range of conditions, and got contradictory results. There was not a consistent time after smoking for either positive or negative results. Eating […]
4 February 2016 Acquittal of man caught drug-driving nine days after smoking cannabis throws NSW drug laws into doubt [ABC] New South Wales’s roadside drug testing laws have been thrown into doubt after a magistrate acquitted a man who tested positive for cannabis he had smoked nine days before he was pulled over. Lismore magistrate David […]