In Queensland and NSW the drug driving laws allow police to perform random roadside drug driving tests to determine if you are under the effects of illegal substances whilst driving. These drug tests are conducted by taking a sample of your saliva and testing it for the following illegal substances:
- Cannabis (THC - delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)
- Methylamphetamine (speed, ice, crystal meth, base)
- Ecstasy (MDMA - Mmethylenedioxymethamphetamine)
There is zero tolerance and any trace of the nominated drugs in your system will result in you being penalised. There are two offences relating to drug driving:
- Driving while a relevant drug is present
- Driving under the influence of drugs
Driving while a relevant drug is present
This is a more common charge and means that a person is guilty of driving a motor vehicle while having an illicit drug present in their blood or saliva.
Driving under the influence of drugs
Considered to be a more serious offence with heavier penalties, driving under the influence of a drug occurs in situations when the person charged appears to have been seriously affected by drugs.
If your saliva test returns a positive result, you will be required to do a second test. If the second test is also positive your licence will be suspended automatically for a 24 hour period.
Any traces of the drugs above and you will be penalised with court-imposed fines up to $1400 and loss of licence for up to nine months - even for the first offence in QLD. In NSW penalties can include fines up to $2, 200, up to 9 months in jail and licence disqualification for a first offence. If you are caught drug driving a second time and your first offence is still to be heard by a court your licence will be immediately suspended in QLD. It is therefore extremely important that you have the best representation when dealing with a drug driving offence in court.
- More information about drug driving penalties in QLD
- More information about drug driving penalties in NSW
Knowledge and experience are the only tools to use when so much is at stake. If you've been charged with a drug driving offence in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Tweed or Northern NSW area, contact McMillan Criminal Lawyer to discuss your options.
Drug Driving in the News
Police alarmed as 43 drug drivers busted on roads
AN ALARMING number of Darling Downs motorists are driving with drugs in their system. A three-week road policing operation detected 43 drivers behind the wheel with illicit substances in their systems.
The shocking statistic has raised the concern of the region's police force with Darling Downs District Inspector Mike Curtin issuing a warning to motorists. "We will continue to target areas of concern in relation to road safety with a view of preventing crashing and saving lives," he said.
Operation Cold Snap involved road policing officers targeting driving offences across the region between June 26 and July 17. Officers conducted a total of 9153 roadside breath tests with 45 positive readings returned. Read the whole story
Ice epidemic: Methamphetamine detected in 1 in 3 drivers tested in parts of regional NSW, police say
Assistant Commissioner John Hartley said the recent operation in central western NSW turned up an alarming number of motorists with illegal drugs. "Mudgee had an operation at the weekend. One in three drivers had ice in their system," he said, adding that drivers in Orange returned similar results.
Assistant Commissioner Hartley told a Senate hearing into road safety an increasing number of regional police stations now had testing equipment to detect drugs like methamphetamine, cannabis and MDMA. "In 2014, our detection was one in 25 across the state generally, so far this year it's one in 13," he said. In contrast, drivers detected drink driving numbered one in 250. Read the whole story
Drug driver 69km/h over speed limit
The Toowoomba Road Policing Unit clocked a four-wheel drive travelling at 169km per hour on the Gatton Bypass at Sandy Creek around 6 pm on Sunday. Inspector Ray Rohweder from Road Policing Command alleged the 30-year-old Harristown man returned a positive roadside drug test when he was pulled over by police.
“It is extremely disappointing to see, in this day and age, that someone would even contemplate travelling at this speed let alone adding to their stupidity by doing so whilst having possibly consumed drugs,” Inspector Rohweder said. Read the whole story