Roadside Drug Tests for Queensland Drivers – Update No. 2

If you haven’t read any of my previous posts on this subject, my gripe with these drug tests is that as a cronic back pain sufferer I rely heavily on prescribed pain killers, namely Panadeine Forte.

I have been taking these for nearly two years and I can say that I don’t feel any affects from them other than slightly less back pain.

From the small amount of information I can find it seems like I am committing an offence everytime I get behind the wheel but this latest snippet of information I found only adds to the confusion.

From this information I understand that the saliva test will not record a positive reading from presciption drugs BUT if the Police officer doing the test suspects that I am under the influence of something I can be made to have a blood test which will show positive for my prescribed drug.

In the Queensland Government Drug Driving Fact Sheet they say that the saliva test tests for the presence of several active ingredients found both in illegal and prescription drugs, contradicting information. I’m really over this, I think I will invest in a push-bike AND of course a helmet and stay safe!

This is what Legalaid Queensland has to say on the subject;

I don’t take illegal drugs, but sometimes I take prescription/over the counter drugs. I’m not breaking the law if I drive, am I?

Yes, if you are what the law calls under the influence of drugs.

If you drive under the influence of alcohol, the police use a breathalyser to find out if you have any alcohol in your system and if you are ‘over the limit’ that the law allows. The police can pull you over for a random breath test at any time even if you are not driving badly.

At present, the random saliva tests will not pick up any prescription or over the counter drugs that you have taken. The police can make you have a blood test, under certain circumstances, which will detect drugs in prescription and over the counter medications.

That pushy is looking better every day!

8 thoughts on “Roadside Drug Tests for Queensland Drivers – Update No. 2

  1. Hi Craig

    for your info, I went to see my doc this week. During the consultation I raised the topic of random drug saliva tests and asked if there was anything among the drugs prescribed for me that may show a ‘positive’ should i be asked to undergo one, or if there was any ‘combination’ of those drugs that may show up a positive result. His reply was that doctors had not been provided any info on exactly what is being tested for, only what they read in the papers themselves. He did, however, express concern that some people using certain cough mixtures, as well as some people using certain asthma medications may be at risk of tesing positive to speed, given that certain medications contain pseudoephedrine, even though it would not actually still be ‘active’ within the system after a few hours. So, given that, I then contacted the police, who told me that the transport dept would be able to help out. Having rang them and waited on the line I for 25 mins i gave up! Merry Christmas to all!

  2. Hey Lindy Lou,
    Good to hear from u again and thanks for sharing this info. This is exactly what cheeses me (and I’m sure plenty of other people) off about this whole thing. As you found out no-one can give answers about the chances of testing positive with prescription drugs. Maybe it is their way of catching unsuspecting drivers? More information needs to be made available to everyone regarding the testing procedure and expected results.

    Good old Qld Transport, on the ball with their phones as usual!!

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas also, and a happy and safe new year.


  3. Hi Craig I am also In the dark as to whether I should be driving. I am on prescribed drug (dexamphetamine) speed of which I have been on for some 13years for narcolepsy.Now if I was to stop taking this drug I not only would have to stop working, I would be a greater danger on the road,this is why I was prescribed the drug in the first place.My specialist has given me a letter stating the fact that I’am prescribed this drug and also his contact number should there be any problems.But this does’nt say that his letter carries any weight, I could still be charged!Regards Alan

  4. Hi Craig!

    Re Alan Fawcett…i would be surprised, given that Alan’s medication is a member (very close member) of the speed family that he would have much of a chance at all until he took it up in court. The shame in all of this is that, just how many people are going to have their lives turned upside down in having to fight technicalities in courtrooms that are basically relevant to what the ‘active’ time of a prescribed medication is. This is an excellent example. But, then again, just how many people are going to be able to afford legal representation in order to clear their names, and, once again, how are they going to prove at what time exactly they took their medication. There are just too many gaps in the whole thing, and too many of the relevant departments not even wanting to provide the information. Does this mean that everyone is regarded as a druggie, irrespective of whether or not they have certified, diagnosed injuries, or illnesses? Perhaps the relevant pollie should be giving a clearer outline of the picture regarding those on prescription medications and what actions (all actions) will be taken against them. Merry Christmas to all!

  5. What a joke!!!….
    Compared to places like Europe, Australia is very closed minded and it’s looking more and more like America the most Dangerous place in the world.
    I’ve smoked weed for 14 years and driven a motor car, this is another revenue raiser that the government has put together.
    Lets just fine more people ruin more lives and put more people into financial hardship than ever before!!
    So that the pigs in government can afford to live in there mansions while,,, WE THE PEOPLE STRUGGLE DAILY!!

  6. If you are pulled over for a current driver licence check and a random breath test ,and the police state this, are you as a driver required to answer any other questions by police , not relevent in the drivers mind, even though you are as a driver in the all clear.

  7. Hi all,
    I think that the government or who ever is responsible should be giving more information about the entire drug testing process, if people choose to take drugs i think that they should know when they will be clear to drive again, the whole thing is based on guilty until proven innocent the opposite to what it is supposed to be based on and the police can hold you until they have the results, I mean a Breathalyzer test is obviously similar but it takes less time and you know when u can drive and when you can’t. I mean i know that alcohol is legal and illicit drugs are not but their still should be some sort of guideline. They say that the whole idea is to bust people that could be driving dangerously, so it is not to test it the person had party drugs the night before and its in their system but they are no longer affected, its just ridiculous, and not to mention the issues that have been raised here already with strong pain killers etc the fact that you can’t even be told if you can drive or not when u are taking legal prescription drugs, the government seems to have the stupidist ideas on how to fix this country!!!!!

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