The vote is in – drug and alcohol testing of politicians wins!

The vote is in and drug and alcohol testing of politicians in Australia wins in a landslide. Maybe those in the United States would agree!

A couple of weeks ago we asked the question in a blog, should our politicians face drug and alcohol testing? Well, the vote is in and, perhaps not surprisingly, the yeas win in a landslide!

To recap, the blog focused on whether our politicians should face drug and alcohol testing even though there’s no significant safety reason to do so. In Australia, drug and alcohol testing in the workplace is all about reducing safety risks, however, given the important nature of the job (politicians essentially run our country and make important decisions on our future) perhaps they should be the exception.

We asked people to place their comments (cast their vote!) on Facebook and the question certainly got people involved. We reached 993 people with our post and had 183 engagements. And we had, what is for our posts, a large number of comments, all of which voted in the affirmative that our politicians should face drug and alcohol testing. Comments such as:

  • “I am a government employee and can be drug/alcohol tested at anytime, so what’s good enough for me is good enough for my bosses. They should, after all, lead by example…” – Poppy Gee.
  • I’m in total agreement with the comments that have been posted. If they break the law of the country they should be handled the same way as any other citizen of the country. One rule for all.” – Roetis Rossiter.
  • “Well they want the lowest welfare recipients to, so why shouldn’t the highest welfare recipients be drug and alcohol tested. Just not by anyone from within their ranks. Perhaps a job for unemployed people from outside the ACT.” – Bob Whittingham

We also, perhaps not surprisingly again, had several comments that we can’t publish because of the language they contain and a few suggesting that many of our politicians must be on drugs, given some of the decisions they make!

Drug and alcohol testing on our roads

In other news, a recent Drinks Trade article has highlighted what we’ve been saying in our blogs for some time, that drug driving is now a bigger issue on our roads than alcohol.

The article quotes several sources, including:

  • The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, who’s research indicates that “the presence of methylamphetamine (ICE) in drivers involved in fatal accidents in Victoria alone has almost quadrupled in the past eight years”.
  • Road statistics, that show the increasing issue of drugs. For example, “the presence of stimulants in drivers involved in fatal accidents had risen from 5.9% in 2010 to 19% in 2018.”
  • Meanwhile, the number of drink driving fatalities has fallen in recent years. For example, in Victoria, 14.3% of drivers killed in 2018 were over the legal alcohol limit, which, while unacceptable, is 7% down on figures in 2014.

Clearly, while drivers over the legal alcohol limit are still are concern, it’s drug-affected drivers that are causing the most headaches, Which is why we’ll continue you to see drug testing numbers rise in all states and territories of Australia in the coming years.


The vote is in and drug and alcohol testing of politicians in Australia wins in a landslide. Maybe those in the United States would agree! Credit Michael Vadon (image modified)

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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