Queensland water police will have new capabilities to perform drug testing on boaties.
Queensland water police will have new capabilities to perform drug testing on boaties.

Drug trial to test the waters

QUEENSLAND boaties have been warned there will be more police patrolling risky driving with new drug testing kits rolled out across the state.

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan today announced a trial of on-water drug testing to help make the state's waterways safer.

Three Draeger Drug Test 5000 devices will be shared across Queensland as part of the trial and 16 water police officers have been trained to use the new equipment.

 

A day on the bay with Water Police Redland Bay.
A day on the bay with Water Police Redland Bay.

 

On-water drug testing has been undertaken in Queensland since 2010, however in the past water police have always required the assistance of road policing units.

Senior-Sergeant David Edden of Brisbane Water Police said the trial would give his team the training and capacity to undertake their own testing independent of these joint operations.

 

A day on the bay with Water Police Redland Bay.
A day on the bay with Water Police Redland Bay.

 

"With this new water police capability to test in more places more often, drug drivers of vessels will be caught," Senior Sergeant Edden said.

Brian Kelsey has been the president of the Redlands RSL Fishing Club for the past three years.

 

Fishermen welcomed the additional patrolling of Redland Bay’s waterways. Picture: Paula Shearer
Fishermen welcomed the additional patrolling of Redland Bay’s waterways. Picture: Paula Shearer

He said while he has never come across anybody driving under the influence of drugs, the extra policing capabilities were "good news for everybody".

"Obviously anyone driving under the influence of drugs is always a problem in a boat or a car," he said.

"So this is good news for everybody on the water."

 

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said the trial would be evaluated later this year.
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said the trial would be evaluated later this year.

 

The pilot will be evaluated after six months.

Mr Ryan said the ultimate aim was for every water police unit across the state to have a Draeger DrugTest 5000.



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