Cocaine use and driving make for a dangerous combination, putting at risk not only the driver - but also all those who share the road.
Similarly to alcohol and various other substances, cocaine can greatly impact a person’s ability to drive safely. Specifically, cocaine is known to cause overconfidence, lapses in concentration, aggressive driving behaviours, increased risk-taking, and a diminished focus on the road.
A Growing Problem
The decision to include cocaine in the roadside drug testing program comes as a response to a concerning trend. From 2018 to 2023, there has been a notable increase in the number of drivers testing positive for cocaine.
This spike in drug driving prompted the government to take swift and decisive action, and as of July 2023, Queensland authorities now test for cocaine during roadside drug testing.
Queensland’s Roadside Drug Testing
For the past 15 years, Queensland's roadside drug testing program has been dedicated to identifying the presence of specific drugs, including MDMA, THC (the active chemical in cannabis), and methamphetamine through saliva samples. This approach has significantly contributed to safer roads and reduced the risks associated with drug-impaired driving.
With the recent incorporation of cocaine testing, Queensland reaffirms its’ commitment to road safety and its’ "zero tolerance" policy.
What Is Involved in Random Roadside Drug Testing?
Similar to random breath tests for alcohol, you can be pulled over by Queensland police officers for a random roadside saliva test to detect the presence of relevant drugs.
The tests can be carried out at random breath testing sites and at targeted drug test sites.
You can also be pulled over and tested by a police officer if they suspect that you are driving under the influence of drugs.
To alleviate confusion, here are some key facts about random roadside drug testing in Queensland:
Roadside drug tests detect the presence of cocaine, methamphetamine (also known as speed and ice), MDMA (the active ingredient in ecstasy), and THC (the active ingredient in cannabis).
In Queensland, it's an offence to drive with THC in your system, even if it's prescribed by a doctor.
There is a zero-tolerance policy in Queensland for drug driving.
Police may require a driver to provide a specimen of saliva for analysis.
If a police officer suspects your ability to drive has been impaired by any drug, you can also be required to provide a specimen of blood for analysis.
Drivers who test positive for the presence of cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines, methamphetamines or ecstasy can face serious legal repercussions.
First-time offenders can face fines of up to $2,167 and a minimum one-month license disqualification.
For repeat offenders, the consequences could extend to imprisonment.
The Road to Safer Roads
The decision to include cocaine in the roadside drug testing program is a clear signal of the Queensland Government's commitment to road safety. The severe penalties in place for drug-impaired driving serve as a strong message: drug driving will not be tolerated.
Seek Legal Guidance
If you find yourself facing charges related to drug-impaired driving, it's crucial to seek professional legal guidance. An experience Criminal and Traffic Lawyer can protect your future and ensure that your rights are upheld.
Don't face drug-related charges alone. Contact our team today.
Contact Creevey Horrell Criminal Lawyers
Based in Brisbane, Roma, Toowoomba, and Townsville.
Visit www.chcriminallawyers.com.au/contact-us to contact us today.