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Driving under the influence of cannabis in Australia

Driving under the influence of cannabis in Australia

Do not get caught driving under the influence of cannabis in Australia. It is stupid anyway. Just as stupid as drink driving. When in control of a motor vehicle, it can turn into a lethal weapon in the blink of an eye. When you are stoned you may think you drive better, but your reactions are impaired, and often slowed.

When driving under the influence of cannabis you cannot drive safely. How do you expect to react appropriately in an emergency situation? Think it will not happen to you, do you? Australian law considers you to be impaired and unfit to be in control of a vehicle if you have taken drugs such as cannabis.

Police testing for drugs

Most Australian drivers will have undergone a breathalyser test at some point. But, drivers may not be aware that police can also test for drugs like cannabis use if they think a driver is under the influence of something by the way they behave.

Every state has a different procedure for driving under the influence of cannabis in Australia. In Victoria, the procedure must be videotaped and a copy given to the driver within 7 days, if charged with an offence.

In NSW, a police officer that takes an oral sample from a driver must:

  • put the sample into an appropriate container
  • put the lid on and secure it
  • label appropriately for future identification
  • provide a certificate to the driver containing the relevant details
  • submit the sample for testing as soon as possible.

Police can also order blood samples from people suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. They have to be done by a doctor or nurse, and ordered when an oral sample cannot be obtained. In NSW, a blood sample can be taken without your permission.

In Queensland, police can order a blood sample when someone cannot communicate or they are unconscious.

When police cannot take fluids to test?

In NSW, police cannot take an oral fluid test for drugs if the driver:

  • has severe injuries and doing the test puts them at further risk
  • is in hospital under the treatment of a doctor, without notification and consent of the doctor.

In Queensland, police cannot conduct an oral drug test if it has been 3 hours since the person last drove a vehicle, and in NSW it is 2 hours.

What are drug tests?

Police have the powers to test drivers they suspect of being under the influence of drugs. Testing looks for traces of drugs in samples of hair, saliva, urine, sweat, or breath.

Saliva drug testing

The most common type of drug testing is saliva. This is often used throughout Australia at random roadside breath testing stations. Trained police officers put a collector into your mouth or onto the tongue to collect a saliva sample. It takes up to 5 minutes to give a reading. If it is positive, you will be required to have further testing before you can be charged with an offence.

Be assured, with the way Australian laws are these days, it is likely you will get caught if you use drugs and drive. So, be aware.

You should visit Marijuana Detox for information about saving your job.

4 comments on “Driving under the influence of cannabis in Australia
  1. Paul

    I want to be able to use thc products for my anxiety disorder. I would never drive under its influence, but wait a good twelve or more hours. Can someone give me a definitive answer about whether I’d be detected if I consume at night, sleep on it, allow at least twelve hours before I drive?

  2. GSMan

    What if you had some days ago & in your system but not under any influence?

    • admin

      From recent research, they are stating that they are focusing on anyone toking within the past two hours. I’ll update more as more news comes in. These saliva testing machines are just starting to take off and European companies are bringing out new models all the time because the previous models didn’t even work properly. Please don’t drive under the influence of any substance. Keep our roads safe.

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