TWELVE motorists in Bass Coast have tested positive to driving whilst under the influence of drugs in recent months.
That may not sound like a large amount, but Bass Coast Highway Patrol Sergeant Jason Hullick said it’s still a cause for concern.
“We commenced drug testing motorists in this area on March 19 after receiving new testing equipment and training,” Sgt Hullick said.
“There has been drug testing in this area in the past, but we had to rely on having the drug bus on hand or members from the state highway patrol.
“We are now able to conduct random drug testing along with preliminary breath tests for alcohol.”
Unlike breath testing for a driver’s blood alcohol level, the saliva drug test result is either positive or negative, with no minimum limit.
Sgt Hullick said that many members of the public may be unaware that illicit substances, including marijuana, can stay in a person’s system for several days, depending on a range of factors including the amount of drugs consumed and individual metabolism.
Those weighing up whether the risk is worth it should consider the fact there are no first-time warnings.
“Drivers testing positive to drugs will have their licence automatically suspended for three months along with a $455 fine,” Sgt Hullick said.
“If a driver is caught twice – or if they’ve already failed an alcohol or drug test when behind the wheel in the past 10 years – they’ll end up in court.
“We will continue to test day and night in all areas of Bass Coast.”