How can you fall foul of the police and your employer at the same time? In the case of a truck driver, failing roadside drug testing will do the job. Although, to be fair, during a recent couple of days, one truck driver did a whole lot more than that.
It all took place in NSW and started on 16 March, as highlighted in an article on the 2ST website. It started when police stopped a truck for a speed breach. Further investigations revealed the driver’s licence had been disqualified from driving until 2030 (that’s not a typo!). To add to this, the vehicle was unregistered and the driver wasn’t carrying a work diary.
To make matters worse, the driver then failed roadside drug testing.
Move forward a couple of days and Transport for NSW Inspectors notified police that a truck had failed to stop at a heavy vehicle checking station. Police caught up with the truck and, you probably guessed it, it was being driven by the same truck driver. Roadside drug testing discovered that he had methamphetamines in his system.
To add insult to injury, police also discovered a radar detector had been fitted to the vehicle. In addition, the speed limiter had been modified to allow the truck to travel at speeds up to 160 kilometres per hour.
The driver was arrested and is already facing some significant charges. Further charges are likely to be laid once additional investigations – including laboratory analysis of the roadside drug testing samples – are completed.
Not horsing around
In another somewhat different workplace drug testing incident, it’s been reported by the Herald Sun that a leading jockey attempted to substitute a sample of his urine to avoid failing drug testing.
According to the article, “Leading South Australian jockey Jason Holder was being treated for depression when he attempted to substitute a sample of his urine after a drug-fuelled drinking session in December.”
It was found during the investigation that the jockey had kept a clean sample of his urine. After failing preliminary saliva drug testing and being asked to provide a urine sample, he then used the clean urine to try to get off. Nobody supervised the process and he may have got away with the switch, but one of the people involved noticed the temperature of the sample was lower than normal. Further testing took place – saliva and urine – and both were positive.
The revelations were made during an appeal for the severity of the penalty for testing positive to a banned substance. The jockey did not seek a reduction in the disqualification for providing a substitute urine sample.
Interestingly, there are at least two other recent examples of jockeys trying to provide substitute urine samples to beat drug testing.
South Australian Racing Appeals Tribunal Tim Anderson QC said in the Herald Sun article that it’s a very serious matter.
“I should say that for any jockey to take any banned substance before riding in a race, trial or trackwork is fraught with danger,” Anderson stated. “Perceptions and judgment are clouded. It is also dangerous to other riders and horses. It is likewise not something which owners or trainers would condone.
“Finally, it is not something that the public should be faced with. It is not good for the image of racing.”
A truck driver failing drug testing and facing a whole host of other charges, plus a jockey who tried to swap urine samples. Just another week in drug testing news! Credit Esteban Zapata https://unsplash.com/photos/f8Nb18iHdPo and Jeff Griffith https://unsplash.com/photos/PaIDqj8otls