Saliva drug testing the way to go in NSW

There are several proprietary methods available to conduct saliva drug testing on NSW’s roads and in NSW workplaces.

When NSW police carry out roadside drug testing, guess what method they use? If you answered saliva testing, well done. When Integrity Sampling carries out drug testing in NSW’s workplaces, guess what method we use? You probably guessed it, saliva testing again.

Why is saliva testing the best drug testing method in NSW, whether it’s the police on the roadside or our technicians in the workplace? Let’s take a look.

Saliva drug testing on NSW’s roads

As NSW Police are quick to point out, they can test for drugs anytime or anywhere and a key reason for this is saliva drug testing. The other quick, immediate and efficient way to conduct drug testing is by using urine samples. Not sure about you, but we can’t see urine drug testing being introduced for roadside drug testing anytime soon!

NSW Police have the ability to test drivers for four commonly used illegal drugs. These are ecstasy, cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamines. The process is quite simple:

  • Often drug testing is done alongside alcohol testing, so generally when you are stopped by NSW police you’ll be asked for your licence and then complete a breath test for alcohol.
  • You will then be asked to wipe what NSW Police call a mobile drug testing stick down your tongue. This will collect saliva and any of the illegal drugs mentioned above in your system will be detected.
  • The results take a few minutes to appear and you must wait until police say you are in the clear. Hopefully your drug testing result is negative and you’ll soon be on your way.
  • If you do test positive during the saliva drug testing, you’ll be taken to a roadside testing van or bus, where the saliva drug testing result will be analysed using the Drager DrugTest 5000 (see below) or back to a police station. You’ll then need to provide another saliva sample, which will be tested. If this sample is also positive you’ll be banned for driving for 24 hours and your sample will be sent to a lab for further analysis.

Saliva drug testing in NSW’s workplaces

The process for saliva drug testing in workplaces is similar to roadside drug testing carried out by NSW Police.

The big difference for Integrity Sampling technicians is that we use the Drager DrugTest 5000 to carry out saliva drug testing. It’s quick, efficient and extremely accurate. Instead of a mobile drug testing stick being used to collect saliva, we use a collection device which is then inserted in the Drager device and a short time later the result is displayed. If an employee records a positive drug testing result, a second saliva sample is collected and this sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Safety the key

Drug testing in NSW, whether it’s at work or on the roads, whether it’s using saliva testing or another method, is not about consequences. While often there are consequences involved, the key reason for drug testing is safety.

On the roads and at work, someone who has tested positive can be removed from the road or from the workplace, so they are no longer a risk to themselves or other drivers. Safe driving and safety at work requires good judgement, concentration and reactions and if you’re under the influence of drugs these and other systems are compromised.

NOTE: Integrity Sampling has offices in NSW in Bourke, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Goulburn, Griffith, Lismore, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Sydney, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong. Give us a call on 1300 SALIVA to discuss your drug and alcohol management needs.


There are several proprietary methods available to conduct saliva drug testing on NSW’s roads and in NSW workplaces.

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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