New Roadside Drug Tests Will Now Sniff Out Cocaine Use
Roadside drug testing for cocaine is set to be introduced by NSW Police in what appears to be an Australian first. Currently roadside tests include cannabis, MDMA, methamphetamines (ice), and alcohol.
NSW Police Minister Troy Grant said last December that cocaine-reading tests should be trailed in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. He said that these tests should happen because technology had progressed to the point where the presence of cocaine would appear in a roadside test.
The trail never happened and Greens MP David Shoebridge also questioned why the NSW government wasn’t already testing for cocaine and argued that drug tests that excluded cocaine were classist since they excluded wealthier drug users who could afford the more expensive drugs.
Shoebridge has also argued against the current tests in use by NSW Police because they can pick up on drug use days after drugs have been taken and long after their impairment.
The Daily Telegraph has cited the NSW Centre for Road Safety and said just eleven fatalities on road were linked to cocaine usage between 2012 and 2016 compared to 300 fatalities linked to MDMA, cannabis and methamphetamines.