Drug testing in the news – and it’s not just COVID!

How does roadside and workplace drug testing take place? What is the process and what equipment is used?

There’s a lot of news around lately around testing and drugs, mostly focusing on COVID 19. But roadside drug testing also makes the headlines regularly, generally when someone fails drug testing after an accident or for other negative reasons.

So, how does the drug testing on our roads and in our workplace work? What is the process?

We thought it would be worthwhile explaining the process Integrity Sampling uses for its workplace drug testing. While it’s not the same as all roadside drug testing used around the country (we use the Drager DrugTest 5000 for our analysis, while some police forces use other systems) it does provide a general idea of how drug testing works.

The Drager DrugTest 5000 drug testing process

  • The person being tested is provided with a small saliva collection device, to rub inside their mouth and around their teeth, gums and cheeks. There’s an integrated indicator to indicate when enough saliva has been collected. For those who’ve had a COVID 19 test, it’s a lot less invasive and doesn’t require any collection from your nose!
  • The collection device is then handed to the technician who slides it into the Drager DrugTest 5000.
  • The DrugTest 5000 analyses the saliva sample automatically. It only takes a few minutes.
  • The result is displayed on the screen of the unit.

That’s it. While you might be expecting a more detailed process, this summarises the process well. It’s why a large number of drug tests can be completed in a relatively short time, whether it is on the roadside or in our workplaces.

Of course, it’s under the hood of the DrugTest 5000 where the real magic happens. While for the technician the process is simple and the unit easy to use, it’s the analyser that interprets the results from the sample, removing the possibility of human error and simply displaying positive or negative for each drug class.

Drug testing accuracy

But what about machine error? Isn’t that possible? The Drager DrugTest 5000 unit has an accuracy rate greater than 99% and has been found to be compliant with the new standard AS/NZS 4760:2019. This new Australian/New Zealand Standard 4760 was released nearly 12 months ago and the Dräger DrugTest 5000 was one of the first products to be verified.

However, greater than 99% is not 100%, which is why any good drug testing process will include secondary testing for anyone who provides an initial positive result.

The other advantage of the Drager DrugTest is its portability. With a weight of around 4.5 kilograms and the ability for it to be powered from a standard power supply outlet or using 12 Volt vehicle power, drug testing can be carried out in remote places (such as roadsides, in farm paddocks and down mines) as well as inside buildings and factories.

Find out more about workplace drug testing

Want to know more about the Drager DrugTest 5000 or workplace drug testing in general? Contact Integrity Sampling on 1300 725 482, view our workplace drug testing website page or submit a form via our contact page.

How does roadside and workplace drug testing take place? What is the process and what equipment is used?


How does roadside and workplace drug testing take place? What is the process and what equipment is used?

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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