The laws with respect to Drug Driving is embedded in the Road Transport Act 2013. In the state of NSW, it is illegal to drive with the presence of an illicit drug in your system.
A person who is a driver, rider or even a supervising licence holder on a road or a road related area in NSW can be directed to take one or more oral fluid tests. The purpose of these tests is to detect the presence of illegal drugs which include ‘THC’, ‘Cocaine’ ‘Ice’, ‘Speed’, ‘Crystal Meth’, ‘Base’, ‘MDMA’ or even ‘Ecstasy.’
Did you know that it is also an offence in NSW to drive with the presence of morphine in your blood or urine?
The Testing Procedure.
An Oral fluid test is usually conducted through the windrow of the vehicle. The person will be asked to lick the Test Pad of the device and the result will appear in approximately 5 minutes. If the test is positive, then the person will be required to attend the police support vehicle or the police station where he or she will provide the police with a (secondary test) further sample of oral fluid, which will be tested using a different oral fluid screening device.
The Secondary Test is different to the Preliminary Test as this test takes about 20 minutes. In the event that the result is positive then you will be unable to drive for 24 hours. The remaining part of the saliva sample from this test will be sent to the Division of Analytical Laboratories for testing. If the Division of Analytical Laboratories find one or more illegal drugs in the saliva sample, then the person who was tested will be given a Court Attendance Notice for the Charge of ‘Driving with presence of an illicit drug.’
The remaining portion of the saliva sample is stored in the Laboratory for 6 months. If a person elects to dispute the test result, then he or she can apply for a portion of the sample to be independently analysed by another laboratory at their own expense.
Did you know that it is a defence if the drug was prescribed by a medical practitioner and if the drug was taken in accordance with that medical practitioner’s prescription? If you have been charged with a Drug Driving related offence, it is critical that you seek legal advice in relation to the offence, possible penalties, whether there exist any defences or even to discuss whether your appeal would have any Merit.
*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 16th May 2022.
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