Drug driving limits to be enforced from 2 March 2015
Drug driving will soon be subject to the same kind of limits as drink driving.
From 2 March 2015, police will be able to conduct roadside saliva swabs on drivers, which will test for any of the 16 illicit and prescription drugs that have been set official limits. The list includes cannabis, MDMA, ketamine and cocaine among others.
Currently, drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs are asked to perform a Field Impairment Test, which is designed to establish if the driver is capable of safe driving or not.
The new drug driving limits give police accurate roadside testing for the first time, detecting some drugs up to 5 days after consumption. The allowed numbers are as low as they can be while ruling out passive consumption - a limit of 2 micrograms in the case of cannabis - and will be clarified with a hospital blood test if a driver is found to have taken drugs by the saliva swab.
Impaired driving under the influence of drugs has been illegal for years (even for prescription drugs) and will remain an offence. However, drug driving involving specified controlled substances will now be much easier to establish and prosecute, with the focus less on impairment than ‘zero tolerance’.
Find the full list of drugs under new limits on the Young Driver's Guide.