Almost half of Orange drivers test positive to drugs during random test

PEOPLE who drive under the influence of drugs will eventually be caught say Orange police officers. A roadside operation conducted last month resulted in almost half the drivers tested returning a positive drug test.

The random drug test was conducted in Orange on July 22. Of the 24 drivers tested, 11 were found to be driving under the influence of drugs.

Orange outstripped Newcastle, Richmond, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Goulburn, Narrabri and Queanbeyan when it came to the percentage of drivers who returned a positive result for drugs. The majority of people who were tested in rural NSW were found to be using marijuana, followed by ice.

Canobolas Local Area Command Inspector Dave Harvey said Orange police were targeting drivers who drank or took drugs before they got behind the wheel of a vehicle.

"Police in Orange regularly stop people for the purpose of random drug testing," he said.

"If people are found to have drugs in their system their license is suspended for 24 hours pending the results of further testing."

Assistant commissioner John Hartley, the commander of the traffic and highway patrol command, said people who drove under then influence of drugs needed to know that drugs impacted reactions, could give a false sense of confidence and reduced a driver's ability to respond to situations. 

"Combining alcohol and opiates multiplies the depressant effects of both drugs, even if only small quantities are used," he said.

"With an expected 55,000 tests to be completed this year, which will increase in the years ahead, now is the time for those drivers to get help, as opposed to putting others at risk on our roads.”


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