Road side Testing: Police find a new way to test you for drugs in your system on the spot.
You may have seen a TV commercial recently in NSW for ‘mobile drug testing’ by the Police in New South Wales.
The New South Wales Police have introduced a new system called “MDT” and this effectively stands for “Mobile Detection Testing”.
This new ‘MDT’ system has come just in time for the Xmas and New Year Holiday period and it gives Police the ability to stop you and test you for a substance in your system that is not just alcohol.
We are all familiar with RBT (Road-Side Breath Testing) Units that are also frequently sighted on our roads in New South Wales.
This new system of MDT now accompanies the RBT and both tests can be done by Police at the same time.
How is the MDT test administered?
- It is a quick road side test that Police take when they ask the driver to lick a test strip.
- The test strip is then taken to the Police vehicle and placed in a testing unit that will provide an instant result for the detection of a substance.
- The actual testing cannot replace the accuracy of a blood test and give any real levels of substance found in the body, but it can give a simple indication of a substance being detected.
- A positive detection allows Police to arrest and detain a person for ‘driving under the influence’.
- This will require attendance at a NSW local court like Sutherland local court or Kogarah Local court, Manly local court or any Sydney metropolitan local court.
- Local courts have the power to administer a 2 year full time term of imprisonment.
What does the test detect:
Mobile drug testing (MDT) detects drivers who have recently used three common illegal drugs: ecstasy, cannabis and speed. MDT can be conducted at NSW Police roadside operations or by police in vehicles patrolling our roads.
The problem with this is that if you are also on PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION you will be found positive for having a substance in your system.
It is crucial that your medical physician advise you on if you are able to drive when on a prescription.
Laws that you can be charged under include:
The NSW Roads and Traffic Act
Section 111 – Drive motor vehicle with illicit drug present in blood etc.
You can be easily arrested, detained and charged with this offence. This will require attendance at a NSW local court like Sutherland local court or Kogarah Local court, Manly local court. These courts are very busy courts for driving offences and can penalize you by disqualifying you from driving for this ‘serious’ offence.
Read more on the current “Mobile Detection Testing” MDT campaign recently administered and endorsed by the NSW Government:
- Drivers caught with drugs in their system will face court, could lose their licence, be fined and end up with a criminal record. For a presence offence detected through an MDT, the court may impose a fine of up to $1,100 and an automatic six month licence disqualification.
- Drivers proven to be driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs, face fines of up to $2,200 and automatic 12 month licence disqualification for a first offence. These offenders can also be sentenced to up to nine months in prison. Higher penalties apply for second and subsequent offenders.”
ETB Legal advise all readers that this page is current, as of the date of publication and the laws can change.
Please seek legal advice if you have a current case or query on the law in NSW.