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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 🇦🇺
 
2004-12-13, 06:14

In what is a world first, Victorian police have officially begun their "random drug testing" of motorists. Sort of like random breath testing to determine if you are over the BAC limit (.05 in this state - differs in other states) except they are testing for THC* and methamphetamines.

There go the post gig tokes I used to enjoy every now and then. :shrugs:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Age
Roadside drug tests strike early

December 13, 2004 - 5:32PM

The world's first roadside random drug testing facility took just 15 minutes to detect its first alleged drugged driver in Melbourne today.


But he was the only person to test positive out of 32 people stopped by police.


Assistant Commissioner Bob Hastings said police did not know what to expect when they began testing in Yarraville, in Melbourne's inner-west.


''We turned out here this morning with the expectation of not quite knowing what to expect really, and it was surprising that so early we got some driver who tested positive,'' he told reporters.


''We will crank this up as we move towards Christmas and focus on those areas where we believe there's high usage of illicit drugs.''


The test detects THC, - the active component in marijuana - and methamphetamines, or speed, in saliva.


Drivers give a sample by touching their tongue on an absorbent collector and results develop in five minutes.


Police plan to test 9,000 Victorian motorists in the next 12 months and will target truck routes and rave party precincts.


Today, preliminary tests on a man returned positive results to methamphetamines.


The van driver, who was tested about 11.15am, was the fourth person tested after the roadside station opened at 11am.


He returned positive results to both a saliva swab and a second, more detailed test, in a police van.


The sample will be sent for laboratory analysis, which will take*
14 days.


No infringement notice will be issued until the results of the comprehensive laboratory test are available.


A second man today returned a positive sample to speed at the roadside test, but an analysis in the police van was negative.


Motorists had generally positive reactions to the new testing stations.
John Riani, of Melbourne, was unruffled about the delay when he was pulled over.


''It's only five minutes mate, not a problem,'' he said.


Vivian Buiatti, of Laverton in south-west Melbourne, said five minutes was a bit of a wait if someone was in a hurry, ''but otherwise you know, it's not bad, it's all right''.


Commissioner Hastings said a decision on whether the testing technology would be expanded to other Victoria Police vehicles would be made after this program was evaluated.


''We've changed the attitude and the culture of the community towards drink driving, I think we are now starting to move that way with drug-driving - and they are both as dangerous as one another,'' he said.


''The penalties we've started off at the moment are comparable to drink driving and given it's a first we had to set a rate that we thought was fair.


''I think once the program is evaluated then it will be up to all those involved in road safety and government to make a decision as to whether the penalties need to be increased.''


Drivers who return a positive sample to preliminary tests would be provided with a sample, which they can have independently analysed, a Victoria Police spokesman said.


If the final laboratory test results are positive, a traffic infringement, $300 fine and three demerit points are issued.


If the matter is contested in court, there is a possible $600 fine, and up to six months licence cancellation where a conviction is recorded.


- AAP*
* THC - I used to jam in an improv/groove band with a friend of mine and some of his mates. :smokey: Anyway, this friend (a DJ) still lived in his family home and his mother would always cook a hearty Italian meal for the band. Her name was Tina, so we named the band THC for Tina's Home Cookin'. Of course, for some reason we were always hungry, but that was purely coincidental.

All I want is a simple life
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scratt
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2004-12-13, 06:37

Love the little anecdote at the end...

This is quite scary! It will not be long before the UK starts this too.

They actually already have 'voluntary' drug testing for motorists in some parts of the country as one of those Sword of Damoclese type *temporary trials*. It's a kind of litmus paper they swipe on your forehead. Detects grass and amphetamines all at once!

But the whole *voluntary* road-side test scenario just makes me crease up with laughter... Imagine the scene... You have just been stopped for a minor traffic mistake, or just the usual "He looks a bit dodgy.. let's pull him over on the pretense of blah blah blah".

They can't find anything to pin you down on so...

Then....
"'scuse me Sir. Would you mind taking a *voluntary* drug test please?"

"No, sir! Why ever not...?"

"Got something to hide have we sir?"

"Perhaps we should take you down the station for a more thorough test if you won't do the *voluntary* test, Sir!"

Absolutely hilarious! Voluntary my arse!!!

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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Barto
Student extraordinaire
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canberra, Australia
 
2004-12-13, 07:05

5 minutes seems a bit long but apart from that, I don't see any problem - as long as the test is accurate and it only returns positive for very recent use.

You shouldn't be driving under the influence of any drugs that impair your judgement or reaction time - illegal or not.

The sky was deep black; Jesus still loved me. I started down the alley, wailing in a ragged bass.
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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 🇦🇺
 
2004-12-13, 07:15

scratt - They don't need to stop you for a minor traffic offence. We have booze busses. The police just set up a roadside bus and put the witches hats out on the road to force cars into the lane way they have constructed for testing. There'll be about eight to a dozen constables giving the breathalyser tests to the motorists who are directed into the makeshift lane.

It doesn't mean that you'll always get pulled over though. Whilst the breath testing is going on, the rest of the traffic is free to move along.

For motorists who try and avoid the booze bus, by turning off early, they also have police cars at nearby intersections waiting to catch those who try to dodge the screening.

This "policing" has had an impact, because the culture amongst our motorists has changed markedly over the past fifteen years. The TAC (Transport Accident Commission) initially bombared us with graphic accident ads that depicted loss of life and grieving families at the scene in a very realistic manner. You could not watch those ads and not feel guilty - even if you were sitting at home sobre - they were very confrontational. However, in time, the shock value lost its impact. Now, we have ads that show the consequences of losing your licence due to drink-driving. Rather more pedestrian (pun intended) - late for work, having to walk you daughter to a netball game and arriving late for that, etc. Bit lame by comparison.

The slogans have gone from "If you drink then drive, you're a bloody idiot" to "... only a little bit over".

That's progress for you.

Anwyay, would love to see the drug ad campaigns - but I'm not sure I'll get the chance b/c of my move o/s next year.

All I want is a simple life
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2004-12-13, 11:28

And there's a problem with this?

I don't think there's any problem with random drug/alcohol checks on the road. Like Barto said, as long as the test is fairly accurate, it can help to save lives and money.

In 2003 in the US, 14,630 traffic fatalities were linked to alcohol consumption. As far as I can tell, drug use hasn't been tracked like alcohol, but who is to say that some of those or a few more weren't involved with marijuana or some other mood/mind-altering drug?

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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thuh Freak
Finally broke the seal
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-13, 11:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barto
5 minutes seems a bit long but apart from that, I don't see any problem - as long as the test is accurate and it only returns positive for very recent use.

You shouldn't be driving under the influence of any drugs that impair your judgement or reaction time - illegal or not.
from what i've read, they haven't yet created a test that can tell the difference between if you've smoked pot 30 days ago and if you've smoked 30 seconds ago. these type of pot tests (idk about meth and other drugs they test for) don't judge impairment, only monthly-or-more-recent use.
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2004-12-13, 14:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
And there's a problem with this?

I don't think there's any problem with random drug/alcohol checks on the road. Like Barto said, as long as the test is fairly accurate, it can help to save lives and money.

In 2003 in the US, 14,630 traffic fatalities were linked to alcohol consumption. As far as I can tell, drug use hasn't been tracked like alcohol, but who is to say that some of those or a few more weren't involved with marijuana or some other mood/mind-altering drug?

Wow, compared to over 400,000 tobacco deaths each year drinking and driving seems like a minor nuisance.

On a serious note, whatever happened to probable cause? I know Mac+'s story is from Australia, but I've seen the sobriety tests blocking intersections in my area (some towns do this much more than others). If you're not driving like you're under the influence, what gives anyone the right to pull you over? I guess the government has finally put the 4th amendment to its final use, birdcage lining material.

I don't DUI, hell, I'm usually the designated driver so I'm not worried about getting caught doing anything illegal. I just wonder what the next step is. If they seriously want to stop DUI, why not place breathalizers at every bar? You don't get your car keys back until you blow < 0.8 or whatever the legal limit is in your area. Certainly makes more sense than setting up checkpoints at the same spots on Friday nights. Drinking friends of mine know where not to drive because the checkpoints are at the same spots week after week.
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murbot
Hoonigan
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canada
 
2004-12-13, 15:49

I don't see the problem with alcohol checkpoints. It gets drunks off the roads. Can't find a problem with it.

I've driven through a few. Cops asks if I've been drinking, I say no, he nods and I drive on.

I guess I'd feel differently if I was always driving half tanked.
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Powerdoc
Cat's Dreamlands
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-13, 15:58

If only the driver was involved with the accident, I will not care if he take drugs or not : it's his live and his choice.
Unfortunately such a driver is not alone in the road. He can kill or hurt seriously others people. That's why dangerous habits must be restricted. I am for drugs controls.

Naturally it include alcohool, the first cause of car accidents.

Last edited by Powerdoc : 2004-12-14 at 01:36.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-13, 16:17

The THC testing thing is absurd! Exactly for the reason mentioned above, it does not test inhibition, it merely test presence. Plus being under the influence of marijuana is not illegal in the states, merely possession is illegal, to my understanding?

If there was a definite matter of testing this, I would not be hesitant to support it moving and become prominent in the states.

As for drunk driving, I agree with murbot completely. I know too many teenagers who are not hesitant to drive home after our parties.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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thuh Freak
Finally broke the seal
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-13, 16:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
And there's a problem with this?

I don't think there's any problem with random drug/alcohol checks on the road. Like Barto said, as long as the test is fairly accurate, it can help to save lives and money.
idk about aussie law, but here in the us, congress, the states and their hired goons are required to have probable cause to search or sieze a citizen's property. p.c. generally means they have a crime they think you committed and they have some kind of evidence that you've committed it; so as to differentiate you from the 260mil other citizens just walking/driving around minding their own business. furthermore, no man can be compelled to provide evidence against hisself. random road-side tests are an affront on the constitution itself.

Quote:
In 2003 in the US, 14,630 traffic fatalities were linked to alcohol consumption. As far as I can tell, drug use hasn't been tracked like alcohol, but who is to say that some of those or a few more weren't involved with marijuana or some other mood/mind-altering drug?
i cant remember numbers (pot shorted out my memory ), but i remember driving incidents with alcohol is overwhelming compared to driving incidents with pot. less still are driving incidents with just pot, sans alcohol completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sh0eWax
Plus being under the influence of marijuana is not illegal in the states, merely possession is illegal, to my understanding?
well, i'm a bit rusty on the exact wording, but the narcs could say, "well, if you weren't in possession of the marijuana, how did you smoke it and get it into your bloodstream?" hapless stoner respond, "idk, magick?" technically though, i think you're right. i see no reason why any form of government would have control over what i actually consume; they got the controlled substances act in on interstate commerce.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-13, 18:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by thuh Freak
well, i'm a bit rusty on the exact wording, but the narcs could say, "well, if you weren't in possession of the marijuana, how did you smoke it and get it into your bloodstream?" hapless stoner respond, "idk, magick?" technically though, i think you're right. i see no reason why any form of government would have control over what i actually consume; they got the controlled substances act in on interstate commerce.
I think that is somewhat slowing down this from happening in the US. Altho I have read that recently more law enforcement agencies, especially the State Troopers are being trained in detecting the various symptoms of drug abuse. I guess there is a new front to minimize driving under the influence of marijuana. I'll try finding the article...

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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InactionMan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-14, 00:40

Canada will start road side drug testing once pot is decriminalized. My problem is not testing, it's that they require a DNA sample to test. Of the course the police/RCMP/CSIS have all said the DNA will be destroyed and you won't be added to the DNA Databank but I'd say that's a huge lie. Freakin' Cops.
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scratt
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2004-12-14, 00:56

My concern is yet again the mis-guided and innacurate deomonising of recreational drug users...

Alcohol (as thuFreak has accurately pointed out) is the overwhelming cause of "vehicular violence" and motoring accidents.

But with this new way to target the 'evil of drugs' I am afraid the drink driving progress we have made is going to get sidelined, and we will yet again be able to bash the poor stoner who generally drives sooo carefully when they have had a joint!! Remember... Grass is not speed, cocaine or PCP guys! It impairs judgement less than one drink and a painkiller or antibiotics (or other similar medication).... How many people drive regularly like that? And there is not test for that!!!

Of course if someone is doing 180MPH screaming out the windows like a loonie on PCP, Speed, Acid or whatever else then yes they should be busted.

However, I am not of the opinion that it is in any way helpful to society to bust the bloke (me) who had a spliff at 6pm and happens to still have it on his skin, or in his blood a few hours later.

Stoners are not loonies who go around driving like maniacs and causing accidents.

And let's remember there is no leeway with this like there is with alcohol. If you have had a drink, but are not over the limit (which is subjective anyway) then you are not a criminal (Even if you did have an accident!). If however you have a teeny bit of weed (or whatever) in your system and have been randomly tested and are totally in control you will be busted! Yeah! Victory for fascism and ignorance!

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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Purgatos
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
 
2004-12-14, 04:11

Whenever I've been stoned I don't want to act like a looney. Hell, standing up and going to the fridge becomes a hellish ordeal once I'm high.
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Koodari
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2004-12-14, 05:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassplayinMacFiend
Wow, compared to over 400,000 tobacco deaths each year drinking and driving seems like a minor nuisance.
Most of the tobacco deaths occur to a smoker. Drunk drivers kill others. Killing others is not a 'nuisance'.
Quote:
If they seriously want to stop DUI, why not place breathalizers at every bar? You don't get your car keys back until you blow < 0.8 or whatever the legal limit is in your area.
Bars can offer that service if they want. OTOH if the police wants, they can put a checkpoint just outside the bar and give an alcohol test to anyone leaving with a car. Legislating that bars need to do this is a bad idea and I'm prepared to taunt anyone who stands for it.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2004-12-14, 05:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purgatos
Whenever I've been stoned [...] standing up and going to the fridge becomes a hellish ordeal once I'm high.
I think that's precisely the idea this is working on. If you have trouble going to the fridge stoned, think how well you'd do piloting a 1-ton missile of destruction stoned.

We can trade anecdotes all day long, though, and it'll get us nowhere. Person 1 may be able to perform activities stoned just fine as well as Person 2 can perform activities after a few drinks just fine. We all know that different body chemistries have different tolerances.

I refer to the link I posted above for some objective conclusions:
Quote:
The results of the studies corroborate those of previous driving simulator and closed-course tests by indicating that THC in inhaled doses up to 300 g/kg has significant, yet not dramatic, dose-related impairing effects on driving performance (cf. Smiley, 1986). Standard deviation of lateral position in the road-tracking test was the most sensitive measure for revealing THC's adverse effects.
Quote:
Although THC's adverse effects on driving performance appeared relatively small in the tests employed in this program, one can still easily imagine situations where the influence of marijuana smoking might have a dangerous effect; i.e., emergency situations which put high demands on the driver's information processing capacity, prolonged monotonous driving, and after THC has been taken with other drugs, especially alcohol. Because these possibilities are real, the results of the present studies should not be considered as the final word. They should, however, serve as the point of departure for subsequent studies that will ultimately complete the picture of THC's effects on driving performance.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Purgatos
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
 
2004-12-14, 07:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
I think that's precisely the idea this is working on. If you have trouble going to the fridge stoned, think how well you'd do piloting a 1-ton missile of destruction stoned.
I was just responding to the guy above me.

I'm too paranoid to drive sober. I don't trust anyone on the roads no matter what state of mind they're in.
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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 🇦🇺
 
2004-12-14, 08:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
And there's a problem with this?

I don't think there's any problem with random drug/alcohol checks on the road. Like Barto said, as long as the test is fairly accurate, it can help to save lives and money.

In 2003 in the US, 14,630 traffic fatalities were linked to alcohol consumption. As far as I can tell, drug use hasn't been tracked like alcohol, but who is to say that some of those or a few more weren't involved with marijuana or some other mood/mind-altering drug?
No, I don't have a problem with the tests - as long as they are accurate. Anything that saves lives on the road is good for all.

I find it odd, though, that the police are willing to do random drug tests on a substance that is deemed illegal. If they're so gung-ho to ensure we are not driving stoned or pissed - it seems inconsistent to me to have one drug legal and the other illegal, yet impose penalites of equal measure.

Furthermore, I share the same concern as thuh Freak:
Quote:
Originally Posted by thuh Freak
from what i've read, they haven't yet created a test that can tell the difference between if you've smoked pot 30 days ago and if you've smoked 30 seconds ago. these type of pot tests (idk about meth and other drugs they test for) don't judge impairment, only monthly-or-more-recent use.
What is the measure for impairment? (This now makes me question the appropriateness of .05% BAC limits in Victoria and differing amounts in other states.) I know that people react differently to alcohol and other substances, but how can the cops tell that you are incapable of being in charge of the vehicle if traces of marijuana are present in your blood stream - especially if it is from a joint you shared a couple of weeks ago?

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Last edited by Mac+ : 2004-12-14 at 08:40.
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