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Drug Driving. What You Need To Know

It is illegal and dangerous to drive if you are under the influence of drugs.

Depending on the drug, there are many ways your ability to drive can be impeded and at any time you may be pulled over to have a roadside drug test conducted. This can also take place at random breath testing sites and is most typically a saliva test.

This short and simple roadside saliva test will detect the presence of any illicit substances that you may have recently taken.

How Does the Roadside Drug Testing Process Work?

The police officer will ask for your approval to conduct a saliva test, which involves either a scraping of the tongue or a saliva swab.  It takes approximately 5 minutes for the results of the test to be known. In the event you are unable to provide a sufficient saliva sample, you will likely be asked to provide a blood sample.

Any indication of an illegal substance in your system will require you to provide a second sample, which will be more thoroughly tested by a laboratory.

What Happens If I Provide A Positive Result?

Drug Driving is a serious offence and Queensland Police has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Providing a positive result will mean your driver’s license will immediately be suspended for 24 hours. In some cases your license will remain valid until your case has been dealt with by the court, or a decision has been made to withdraw the charge for another reason. In others your licence will be immediately suspended until such time as the matter is finalised in Court. 

If you are charged with a drug driving offence you should carefully read all paperwork provided to you by Police. If you do not read your paperwork you risk driving unlicensed and could face further charges. If you are unsure about your paperwork you should contact a lawyer immediately. 

Should you have prior and/or pending drug driving charges, you will not be able to operate a vehicle until your court date and subsequent outcome.

What Are The Likely Penalties?

Due to the seriousness of the offence, the penalties can be everything from a significant fine, through to license disqualification and even imprisonment depending on the circumstances and your criminal and traffic history.

What Happens If I Deny The Request To Be Tested?

It is always recommended to cooperate with the Police as best possible.

Should you decide you do not want to provide a sample, and do not want to co-operate with the Police, you will be charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, depending on the situation.

Does This Apply to All Drugs?

As a rule, you should never operate a vehicle after taking any medications or illegal drugs that may affect your ability to drive safely. Different drugs affect people differently, so always err on the side of caution and safety.

What Should I If Charged With Drug Driving?

Seek the advice of an expert Traffic Offence Lawyer.

With offices in Brisbane and The Gold Coast, the team at Howden Saggers Lawyers appear in Court every day. We know the Magistrates; we understand the procedures. We have a great relationship with many Barristers at the Queensland Bar. We understand how the Courts work. We understand the pressures that you may feel in having to go to Court.

We also believe that legal fees shouldn’t break the bank and for that reason we are quite often able to undertake matters on the basis of a fixed fee. This means you will know exactly how much your matter will cost.

Howden Saggers Lawyers is also a Preferred Supplier for Legal Aid Queensland. This means that we are able to undertake matters funded by Legal Aid Queensland as long as you meet the required eligibility criteria.

At Howden Saggers Lawyers our lawyers appear in Court every day, we understand that procedures, we know the law, we get the results.

We are on your side.