Cocaine, Heroin: Safe to Take and Drive

Following the completion of an ANU study into random drug-driving, it appears the ACT government will shortly follow the several states in introducing random drug-driving tests. The tests, involving a saliva swab, can detect the presence of marijuana, methamphetamine (ice) and ecstacy.

While on the surface this might seem an obvious if not inevitable progression in our society’s endless quest to wrap us all in damp squib and deliver us, demented but whole, unto our ever-increasing average lifespan, there is much that remains in doubt about the need, efficacy and fairness of this initiative.

There is no question that taking illegal drugs can impair ones ability to drive. And to remember where you were going. But so can recklessness, distraction, fatigue, prescription drugs, stupidity etc. And there is little hard data that conclusively pins illegal drug taking as a major contributor to road accidents. There are studies showing varying percentages of road deaths exhibiting traces of illegal drugs, but none to definitively prove that those percentages are statistically over-representated, ie. if 20% of the community are stoned at any one time, and 10% of road deaths exhibit traces of THC, pot could actually make people safer drivers. It’s not as silly as it sounds. It’s a lot harder to have an accident at 32 kmh.

There is also no scientific evidence establishing what rates of illegal drug consumption cause what level of driver impairment. Under legislation in Victoria and presumably, soon, the ACT, the detection of any drug traces will result in prosecution. This is of particular significance in the case of marijuana, which can remain detectable in the body in some cases for as long as 90 days.

All the many, many people I know who maintain responsible jobs, who are in all ways upstanding citizens of this country and yet who enjoy a joint after work or whatever, take note. Run into one of these drug buses and you’re rooted.

One perverse positive that might result is a change in community perceptions towards recreational drugs. As these random tests begin reeling in the twenty or thirty percent of people that regularly consume something or other, shall we not be forced to acknowledge that it is not just footballers, musicians and crazy people that transgress, but public servants, responsible parents, coppers, lawyers and, and don’t tell me it’s not true, even judges. I tell you the politicians better be careful about what goes in the roly.

Fortunately for heroin addicts and those rich enough to have a cocaine habit, these drugs are not detectable via this test due to their similarity to many prescription drugs which are, it seems, not a problem.

Never mind. We don’t want people to smoke pot and/or take the odd pill and if they do, and get busted a few days later when the stone is a distant memory, too bad. They shouldna been smoking anyway. They should have been snorting cocaine like sensible people do. Wheeeee!!

One Response to “Cocaine, Heroin: Safe to Take and Drive”

  1. Oh I know I’m not as alert as I coul;d be when I’m designated drive at 3am. Diet cokes all night can only keep you so alert…