Section 111 of the Road Transport Act 2013 was inserted in the repealed Act, and became effective on 15 December, 2006 and gave police power to carry out “Oral Fluid Testing” of drivers for the purpose of testing for the presence of illicit drugs. Such test is carried out at the roadside by police where the driver is required to lick the test pad of the preliminary testing device in order to detect the presence of a prescribed illicit drug. If this test proves “positive” the driver will be required to undergo a second screening test in a police drug testing support vehicle at the scene.
If this second DUI test proves positive, the driver will be prohibited from driving for 24 hours and the remaining oral fluid sample from the second test will then be sent off to the Government Analytical Laboratory for analysis. If that result comes back positive, then the driver can expect a Court Attendance Notice to attend court and be prosecuted.
The definition of illicit drugs simply means cannabis, speed (amphetamine) and ecstasy and can be any combination of these.
Clause 6(1) of Schedule 3 of the Road Transport Act 2013 permits police to require a driver to undergo one or more oral fluid tests for prescribed illicit drugs.
Clause 6(2) creates an offence for a driver to “refuse or fail to undergo the oral fluid test in accordance with the directions of the officer”.
It is an offence if an illicit drug is detected as being present (see Driving with the presence of prescribed illicit drugs) and police can arrest and take the person to a police station or other prescribed premises in order to carry out the necessary tests on the person, whether it be obtaining a further oral sample for analysis (s.18D) or sample of urine or blood.
If a blood or urine test discloses the presence of Heroin or Cocaine, then this legislation also provides for prosecuting for the presence of these drugs also.
Fatal Road Crashes
Clause 12 of Schedule 3 of the Act was inserted for the compulsory taking of blood and urine tests of drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents, or accidents where a person although not killed, it is more likely than not, that such person will die within 30 days as a consequence of the accident.
If a driver is involved in a fatal road crash, then such person will be arrested by police for the purposes of being taken to a hospital and having blood and urine taken for the purpose of testing for the presence of drugs.