How does roadside drug testing work? (Australian Law)

by Bill Vasiliadis on March 27, 2013

If you are caught driving a vehicle on a public road in NSW Australia while you are under the influence of an intoxicating substance, you will face charges of driving under the influence (DUI). DUI is a traffic offence that carries substantial penalties, including fines, disqualification from driving, and in certain cases, it can lead to a prison sentence. While there are prescribed limits for drink driving, driving while under the influence of drugs is governed by a zero tolerance policy. If you are found with any traces of illegal drugs in your system, you will be facing a criminal conviction.

How are drugs tested for?

Testing for drugs is done via a roadside saliva sample. If this sample shows any trace of drugs, you will be required to undergo further testing.

What drugs are tested for?

The roadside saliva testing can show if there are traces of cannabis, crystal meth or ecstasy in your saliva. If you test positive at the roadside, your sample will be sent to a laboratory for further testing, and to make sure the result is conclusive.

What happens if I test positive?

If you test positive to a roadside drug test you will be banned from driving for 24 hours, after which you can resume driving. Your saliva sample will be sent for further testing, and you should receive a letter in the post if you are going to be charged with driving under the influence. If you receive a letter, you will need to contact a law firm with experienced drug lawyers. Sydney lawyers could help you decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty to a DUI charge, and fight your case.

Editor’s note – see also this list of some of the top Employment Lawyers in Sydney NSW

Will I have to go to the police station?

You will not have to go to the police station right away. If the first saliva sample shows up traces of drugs, you will be asked to go to the mobile police roadside unit to provide another saliva sample. If it is also positive, you will be banned from driving for 24 hours and sent home. In the event that the laboratory results come back positive, you will receive notification in the mail and be given a date to attend court.

If I’m charged with driving under the influence of drugs will I be disqualified?

Driving under the influence comes with automatic disqualification from driving, so if you are found guilty there is a good chance you will be disqualified – unless you can successfully obtain a section 10 from the magistrate. A section 10 is a finding of guilt without conviction, and means that although you are found guilty, you won’t be penalised and a criminal conviction won’t be recorded.

Are there any defences to a DUI charge?

In some cases, it is possible to challenge a charge of DUI by proving that the police did not act according to the rules and procedures set out for obtaining samples, and dealing with those suspected of driving while under the influence of drugs. If you contact an experienced drug lawyer they will be able to help you ascertain whether the police acted in a legal manner. If they did not, you might be able to have the charges withdrawn, or successfully defend yourself in court.

Bill Vasiliadis
Bill Vasiliadis is a professional internet marketer who enjoys writing on a wide range of topics. He currently leads the team at SEO for Small Business Pty Ltd based in Sydney, Australia.
Bill Vasiliadis
Bill Vasiliadis
Bill Vasiliadis

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