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Drug Driving Offences

Police will charge you with this offence if they suspect that you were driving while affected by a drug but no illicit drugs show up in your blood test.

It is an offence for a person to drive or attempt to drive while under the influence of a drug or alcohol (Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act s.12). Under the Act, drug means a prohibited drug within the meaning of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, and any other substance prescribed as a drug.

Common drugs included in these categories are amphetamines, Indian hemp (including cannabis), barbiturates, heroin and most sedatives (Serapax, Valium and so on).

Police can require anybody driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle to undergo one or more oral fluid tests (s.18B).

Common drugs included in these categories are amphetamines, Indian hemp (including cannabis), barbiturates, heroin and most sedatives (Serapax, Valium and so on). Police can demand that anyone who is either driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle must be tested for at least one oral fluid test while on a NSW road. They have to be tested for the presence of three illegal drugs.

Passengers will not be required to undergo these tests unless they happen to be supervisors of holders of a learner licence. NSW Police are usually particularly concerned about heavy vehicle drivers but will also be on the look out for drivers who have just attended a party where drugs might have been present.

The three illicit drugs tested are the ones which are the most common amongst drivers and they include methylenedioxymethylamphetamine, better known as ecstasy; Methylamphetamine, which is commonly known as speed, ‘ice’ or crystal meth and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the drug found in cannabis.

A Roads and Maritime Services recent study of driving under the influence of drugs in NSW identified cannabis at the top of the list at 81 per cent, with ecstasy and speed at 13 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

Driving just after inhaling cannabis can impair reaction times, alter the driver’s perception of distance and time, reduce concentration and coordination and affects the vision. The effect of ecstasy and speed/ice are slightly different as they tend to encourage the taking of risks and belligerent driving. This is why drug driving is such a concern in NSW.

If you are stopped and tested for drug driving and the results are found to be positive then you should seek help from a NSW lawyer who will ensure that you are treated justly when it comes to your charge

The table below outlines the penalties that can be imposed for drug driving offences.

 

Maximum Fine

Maximum Jail

Automatic disqualification

Minimum disqualification

First Offence

Prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid/blood/urine

$1,100

Nil

6 months

3 months

Cocaine or Morphine in blood/urine:

$1,100

Nil

6 months

3 months

DUI drug

$2,200

9 months

12 months

6 months

Refuse undergo oral fluid test

$3,300

Nil

3 years

6 months

Refuse to supply blood sample

$3,300

Nil

3 years

6 months

Alter amount of drug before oral fluid test

$3,300

Nil

3 years

6 months

Driver involved in fatal accident fail to supply blood/urine sample:

$3,300

18 months

3 years

6 months

Fail on demand to provide sample of blood/urine,

$3,300

18 months

3 years

6 months

Second Offence within 5 Years

Prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid/blood/urine

$2,200

Nil

12 months

6 months

Cocaine or Morphine in blood/urine:

$2,200

Nil

12 months

6 months

DUI drug

$3,300

12 months

3 years

12 months

Refuse undergo oral fluid test

$5,500

18 months

5 years

12 months

Refuse to supply blood sample

$5,500

18 months

5 years

12 months

Alter amount of drug before oral fluid test

$5,500

Nil

5 years

12 months

Driver involved in fatal accident fail to supply blood/urine sample:

$5,500

2 years

5 years

12 months

Fail on demand to provide sample of blood/urine,

$5,500

2 years

5 years

12 months

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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