Can you refuse to undertake drug testing if you’re asked to at your workplace? Can you refuse if you are asked to undertake roadside drug testing by Victoria Police?
As we’ve highlighted before in our blogs, the simple answer to both of these questions is yes. You can refuse to take part in a drug test whether you are at work or on the roadside. However, that doesn’t mean you should.
Shepparton driver refuses drug testing three times!
The question has come to the forefront again following an incident in Shepparton, Victoria, where a male driver refused to undertake drug testing three times.
On three separate occasions, the driver was pulled up by Victoria Police for preliminary drug testing. On all three occasions the test was positive and he was asked to accompany police to the police station for secondary, evidentiary testing. On each occasion he refused.
To be fair, refusing to undertake drug testing wasn’t the Shepparton driver’s only issues. He appeared in court recently to answer charges of refusing to take part in drug tests, three counts of driving while suspended, one count of driving while disqualified and two counts of speeding.
According to a weekend edition of the Shepparton News, the driver was placed on a community corrections order and will now have to perform 120 hours of community work. The magistrate hearing the case ruled that part of the 120 hours of community work could be spent in treatment programs for drugs. The driver was also disqualified from driving for two years.
Don’t refuse drug testing
The moral of the Shepparton story (well, apart from not speeding or driving while suspended or disqualified!) is that while you can refuse drug testing, you shouldn’t. What if you know you’ve taken drugs recently and may fail the test? You still shouldn’t refuse, whether you’re at work or on the roadside.
On Victorian roadsides, for example, if you refuse to undertake roadside drug testing you’ll likely face a licence disqualification and a hefty fine. In most cases, the disqualification period and fine will be higher than if you took the test and failed. While the laws do differ somewhat in other states and territories of Australia, the consequences are generally similar and hefty.
The same goes in workplaces. Although there are no set rules, as such, the majority of workplaces will have a drug and alcohol policy that deals with situations such as refusing drug testing. Like on the roadside, you can of course refuse drug testing, but generally you are better off taking the test and failing than refusing.
It’s worth highlighting that in most workplaces, failing drug testing, particularly for the first time, is not likely to lead to serious consequences. So, taking the test, rather than refusing, is the best advice.
Integrity Sampling has branches right across Victoria, including one in Shepparton.
You can refuse drug testing on the roadside and in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean you should. Credit Traffic Accident Commission