The ICE cold truth about drug testing in Victoria

Failing drug testing – at work or on the road – is not the worst outcome of going to work or driving while under the influence of ICE. Credit Alessio Lin

What would you potentially do if you’d taken the drug ICE? Would you go to work or drive a car or do something else you wouldn’t normally do when not under the influence?

The fact is that because of the effects of the drug, which we’ll look at later in this post, you might. Hopefully if you did get behind the wheel while under the influence of the drug, or went to work, drug testing would be there to catch you before something even worse happens.

ICE-fuelled driver sped down wrong side of highway

Unfortunately, in the case of Christopher Hennessey, drug testing in Victoria did not catch up with him before the fateful day last year when he hit a teenage boy. A teenage boy on his 16th birthday, who was walking with his girlfriend.

Mr Hennessey, who was unlicensed at the time, was driving his vehicle over the speed limit, on the wrong side of the busy Nepean Highway in Mentone, before veering onto a median strip and hitting the 16-year-old. The driver was high on ICE at the time. The boy was tragically killed and Mr Hennessey was charged with culpable driving causing death.

Mr Hennessey appeared in court last week for a plea hearing. Yesterday he was sentenced to a 16-year prison term, with a non-parole period of 11 years

Failing drug testing in Victoria not the worst outcome

The tragic event is an example of why we say that failing drug testing in Victoria is not the worst thing that can happen.

While failing roadside drug testing can lead to a hefty fine and loss of licence, that’s a far cry from the tragic circumstances highlighted above. While failing drug testing at work can lead to consequences and even potentially losing your job, it’s certainly not the worst outcome.

For some, failing drug testing can be the wake-up call they need to make changes in their lives and ensure they don’t make the same mistakes again.

The dangers of ICE

Why do we regularly hear and read about people taking ICE and then behaving irregularly?

One of the effects of ICE, which is common in many drugs but heightened with ICE, is an increase in confidence. In the case of ICE, this can also be combined with a feeling of alertness and greater energy. In addition, some users experience a condition known as ICE psychosis, where they can have paranoid delusions and hallucinations. They can also act aggressively and violently.

Being addicted to ICE can also make some people do extreme things – such as stealing and other illegal activities – just to keep their habit going. For those that do try to stop, withdrawal symptoms for ICE can be quite extreme and challenging. While symptoms will settle down after a week and at most a month, getting through this period can be too difficult for some.


Failing drug testing – at work or on the road – is not the worst outcome of going to work or driving while under the influence of ICE. Credit Alessio Lin

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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