Drug testing fines in WA could be on the rise

Police in WA are trying to put a red light on positive drug testing results with new plans to slug those who offend.

If you get caught during drug testing on WA roads the penalty to your hip pocket is likely to rise in the near future.

According to ABC News, under a proposal put forward by the WA government, if you’re caught driving with drugs in your system during random drug testing on the roads the fine will increase to a minimum of $1250. Currently it’s $500, which is the lowest in the nation.

The story adds that the WA government also wants to introduce new offences that focus on drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“We know that drivers are even more impaired if they are driving under the combination of the influence of alcohol and the influence of drugs,” said Police Minister Michelle Roberts in the article. “One of my concerns is that someone might test positive for drugs, maybe under the influence of methamphetamine and yet they can continue to drive — they face only a $500 fine. We need to address that issue and make sure the penalty better reflects what the community expects, this is done elsewhere in Australia but it’s not been put in place in Western Australia.”

According to the ABC article, under the proposal, a driver who blew 0.08 alcohol and had meth in their system would face a fine of up to $3,400 and a six-month licence disqualification.

1 in 10 caught in drug testing on WA roads

The article also highlights that last year, WA police conducted drug testing on 40,000 motorists, with 3,845 positive tests. That’s a ratio of just under 1 in 10. What’s perhaps even more surprising and shocking is that around 20% of positive drug tests were for motorists affected by more than one drug, with methamphetamines being detected in 89% of positive drug tests.

Drug testing of water shows WA people are highest users of methamphetamines

With 89% of positive drug tests involving methamphetamines, it’s perhaps not surprising to know that WA people continue to be the highest users of the drug in the nation.

The ‘methamphetamines crown’ was highlighted as part of figures released recently following drug testing of wastewater at 58 sites across the country, including six sites in WA.

In other wastewater drug testing highlights (or should that be lowlights?) for WA:

  • Our state also recorded the equal second highest regional MDA use nationwide.
  • Average methamphetamine, MDA and MDMA consumption increased in both capital city and regional sites.
  • Average cocaine consumption increased in capital city areas but remained stable in regional areas.
  • Average oxycodone, fentanyl and heroin consumption increased in both capital city and regional sites. All these drugs belong to the opioid family of drugs.


Police in WA are trying to put a red light on positive drug testing results with new plans to slug those who offend. Credit musyani75 https://www.flickr.com/photos/musyani/34413608041/

By Paul Marshall

Paul is the Owner and Director of Integrity Sampling WA, which has technicians that provides drug and alcohol management services, including drug and alcohol testing, in the Perth area and all regional locations within Western Australia. You can connect with Paul Marshall on LinkedIn

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