Drug Driving Representation
In Queensland, it is an offence to operate a motor vehicle whilst drugs are present in a person’s system.
There is a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for driving whilst under the influence of drugs. The consequence of this is that anyone with a positive result for illicit substances when participating in a saliva test will be charged.
RHC Solicitors believe that any hard-working person deserves the best representation for driving whilst under the influence of drugs. That’s why we have a team of lawyers who deal with this everyday across Queensland.
Generally, the most common offence people are charged with when driving under the influence of drugs are:
Driving while relevant drug is present in blood or saliva; or
Driving under the influence of drugs.
Random Roadside Drug Testing
Much like random breath tests for alcohol, the Queensland police can conduct random roadside saliva tests to detect any presence of relevant drugs in a persons system. The tests can be carried out randomly at breath testing sites and targeted sites. A person can also be pulled over and tested by a Queensland police officer where they reasonably suspect a person to be driving under the influence of drugs.
Roadside drug tests are designed to detect the presence of the following substances, which are considered ‘relevant drugs’:
Methylamphetamine—also known as speed and ice
MDMA—the active ingredient in ecstasy
THC—the active ingredient in cannabis
How Does the Drug Testing Process Work?
A Queensland police office will ask a suspect to provide a saliva test that will take 3 to 5 minutes to return the results.
These saliva tests are used to detect drugs and are destroyed when they are no longer required.
If you cannot provide a saliva sample, you may be asked to provide a blood sample for testing instead.
Your saliva test will produce either a:
negative result— meaning no drugs were detected and you can continue on your way; or
positive result—this means drugs have been detected
If a drug test is returned positive, the person will need to provide another saliva sample for a second test. If the second test result is also positive, the test samples will be analysed further at a laboratory.
The saliva test detects the active ingredient in the drug and depends on factors such as the:
type of drug the person has taken
quantity and quality of the drug taken
frequency of drug use
the time that has elapsed since taking the drug
Where a positive result is returned, a person will be suspended for 24 hours.
It is important not to drive within the 24 hours as being caught can lead to more serious charges.
The maximum penalty for driving while relevant drug is present in blood or saliva is 14 penalty units (a fine of up to $1,929.90 as at September 2021) or 3 months imprisonment.
There are also mandatory minimum periods of disqualification from driving a motor vehicle if you’re convicted of this offence. Therefore, regardless of a persons circumstances, a Magistrate has no discretion but to disqualify a person for between 1 and 9 months.
While legislation sets this minimum and maximum disqualification from driving together with penalties, each case is unique and the court must have regard to you individual circumstances. This will include looking at a persons traffic history, their character and antecedents, and many other factors.
At RHC Solicitors, we ensure we always push for the minimum disqualification and penalties when the circumstances permit. That’s why it’s important to always engage the right lawyer who knows the process and understand the law.
How RHC Solicitors Help
We have experienced drug driving lawyers across Queensland. We deal with the police and attend the Magistrates Court and District Court every day and have handled thousands of drug driving offence matters.
We're affordable lawyers and often offer fixed fee quotes so that you know exactly what is ahead.