DRUG TEST: Mobile drug testing kits are a step forward in technology but they don’t come cheap.
DRUG TEST: Mobile drug testing kits are a step forward in technology but they don’t come cheap.

The unexpected reason why drug driving goes undetected

DRIVING on drugs can have severe consequences for the entire community, but Warwick police say their power to stop offenders is limited by the exorbitant price of mobile drug testing.

So far in 2020 Officer In Charger Senior Sergeant Jamie Deacon said the Warwick police district has charged eight individuals with drug driving offences.

"But that's just the ones we've caught," he said.

"Unfortunately we can't conduct random drug tests in the volume we can with random breath testing as it costs too much."

Senior Sergeant Deacon said as a result there is a possibility of missed offenders.

"Choosing to conduct a test is an assessment an officer will make judging on the person's behaviour," he said.

"It concerns me more that people drive around under the influence but we can only do what we can do and we can't be everywhere so we're going to miss some people and that's just the nature of policing."

This year, in the Warwick Patrol group which spans out to Goondiwindi, Killarney, Stanthorpe, Allora and Clifton, there has been a total of 27 drug driving offences.

Senior Sergeant Deacon said increase in detection has also been thanks to technology.

"It's possible that because we've only really had the technology to conduct a random drug test without taking a sample of blood that there's been an increase, a that's a bonus for us" he said

"But regardless, we continue to find a concerning amount of people driving with drugs in their system and the bottom line is illicit substances are illegal."

Over the Stanthorpe show weekend, two individuals were charged with drug driving in the Granite Belt area.

Following such offences, and recent tragic events that took place in Sydney, Stanthorpe Police Acting Senior Sargent Shane Gleeson urged the public to think twice about getting behind the wheel under any kind of influence.

"It is a timely reminder that drink driving has real consequences and while offenders may have no regard for their own safety, they endanger the lives of other road users and the public at large by undertaking reckless acts," he said.

"Noone leaves home knowing that they won't be coming home, but at the end of the day while under the influence or drugs or alcohol the likelihood of them being victim or offender increases."



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