There’s a petition to stop roadside drug testing

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge has started a petition to call upon police to abandon their evidence-free roadside drug testing program because it’s “arbitrary, invasive and has no relationship to the impairment of drivers.”

Police recently announced that they’ll be tripling the amount of random roadside drug tests by 2017, despite evidence that saliva-swab-based Mobile Drug Testing (MDT) often picks up illegal drugs long after they’ve worn off and stopped impairing your driving skills.

The saliva-swab tests can detect cannabis in your system up to 12 hours after you’ve last smoked it, according to Transport NSW, while MDMA and amphetamines can be detected for up to 24 hours or longer. At present, roadside drug tests cannot detect the presence of other drugs like psychedelics, cocaine, heroin or prescription opiates.

However, if police judge that your driving is erratic and they suspect you might be under the influence of drugs, they can detain you for blood and urine samples that can find a much wider range of illicit and prescription substances. If you test positive, the maximum charge for a first offence is a $1,100 fine and three month licence disqualification

The Green’s petition argues that the drug testing regime is “much more about ideology and the war on drugs than any serious attempt at driver safety,” because Mobile Drug Tests cannot judge whether a driver’s ability is actually impaired by the substances in their system. If you agree, join the 700-odd supporters who’ve already signed over here, to see the petition put forward to the NSW Minister for Police.