Category: Drug Driving

Radical Radio

Punishment Disguised as Safety: The Injustice of Drug Driving Laws


Enpsychedelia presenter Nick Wallis hosted a roadside drug testing forum on 4 May at the Nimbin MardiGrass, with panellists that included Reason Party leader Fiona Patten, HEMP Party secretary Andrew Kavasilas and renowned medicinal cannabis practitioner Dr Andrew Katelaris. During the event, panellists pointed to the injustices propagated by the flawed regime that instead of …
Alcohol and drug roadside testing in NSW

Passive Smoking Defence Exposes Flawed Drug Driving Regime


Magistrate David Heilpern has delivered yet another landmark ruling that reveals the shonky logic underlying the drug driving regime in NSW. The Lismore magistrate accepted last month that a woman tested positive to cannabis because of passive smoking. Nicole Spackman was found not guilty of drug driving after testing positive, after testifying she hadn’t smoked …
Drug driving in NSW

Drug Driving Charges and the Defence of Honest and Reasonable Mistake


A recent decision in the Local Court of NSW has highlighted the availability of the defence of honest and reasonable mistake of fact against charges of driving with the presence of an illicit substance – or ‘drug driving’. The case Nicole Spackman was pulled over for a roadside ‘lick test’ which registered a positive reading. …
Drink driving

New Drink Driving and Drug Driving Laws in NSW


On 25th September 2018, the New South Wales parliament passed the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Penalties and Other Sanctions) Bill which comes into effect across the state on Monday, 20 May 2019. The legislation amends the Road Transport Act 2013 in respect of the rules relating to drug driving and novice, special and low-range drink …
Michael Balderston and David Shoebridge

Government Tightens Screws on Unjust Drug Driving Regime


As of next Monday, 20 May, first time alleged low-range drink drivers and drivers in respect of whom the presence of drugs is confirmed by a laboratory analysis will be fined $561 and have their licences suspended for three months. For drivers registering a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.05 and 0.079, the fine will …
Cannabis driving

Calls for Overhaul of Drug Driving Laws


Roadside drug testing was introduced into the NSW setting in 2007. Just like random breath testing (RBT) for alcohol, drug testing drivers was said to be brought in to improve safety on the roads. But, unlike RBT, it doesn’t test for driver impairment. It’s a trace-based program. The NSW testing regime was modelled on that …
Alcohol drug roadside testing

Police Should Test for Impairment Levels of Drugs, Not Minute Traces


On the first weekend of this month, NSW police carried out a roadside alcohol and drug driving blitz in the Northern Rivers region. And while locals aren’t complaining about officers booking drunk drivers, they are opposed to those charged with drug driving as there’s no proof they were impaired. Those living in the northern coastal …
Highway patrol

Arresting Drivers for Using Cold and Flu Tablets Will Not Save Lives


NSW roads minister Melinda Pavey has announced there will be an expansion of substances that can ‘influence’ drivers for the purpose of laws against driving under the influence (DUI). She has also announced a strategy designed to assess whether individuals on the Opioid Treatment Program are fit to drive. In a ministerial media release on …
Cannabis driving

Drug Driving Laws Criminalise the Legal Use of Cannabis


The Berejiklian government announced in January that NSW police are set to more than double the number of roadside drug tests they conduct from 97,000 to 200,000 a year by 2020. And along with more tests, another drug will be added to the list that officers test for. As of 1 July, NSW police will begin testing …
Sydney roads

Government to Introduce Tougher Road Rules


The New South Wales Government is setting harsher penalties for drink and drug affected drivers. Twenty-eight people died on NSW roads during the 2017-2018 summer holiday period – more than double the previous year. And 2017 was the third year in a row that the yearly road toll increased, having been in decline for several …