ACT makes drug testing refusal instant suspension

Refusing roadside drug testing in the ACT now has additional consequences. Credit FotoSleuth

We’ve highlighted before in our blogs that while you have every right to refuse drug testing on roadsides and in workplaces, you shouldn’t. Now, there are more reasons why you shouldn’t refuse that test, with the ACT Government giving police the power to immediately suspend the licence of anyone who refuses drug testing.

The drug testing refusal change is part of several reforms introduced by the ACT Government. The reforms are targeting excessive speeding, hoon drivers and other dangerous driving behaviours. For example:

  • People who travel over 45 kilometres per hour over the speed limit.
  • People who drive in a reckless or furious manner.
  • People who refuse to provide an oral fluid sample for drug testing purposes.

While in the past, ACT Police could issue traffic infringement notices for the offences listed above, they would then watch the offender drive away. Now they have the power to immediately suspend the offender’s licence.

In addition, the reforms include increased penalties for repeat offenders who street race. Fines of up to $16,000 can now be handed out, plus people can face jail time.

ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman, said it’s time for dangerous drivers to take more care on our roads.

“It’s not just the victims of your driving and their families who are paying the price. First responders are being asked to bear the extraordinary burden supporting victims, witnesses, families, and colleagues,” Minister Gentleman said in a release. “These legislative reforms will give our police additional powers to enforce road safe behaviours anywhere, anytime.

Refusing drug testing doesn’t make sense

While police forces across Australia handle roadside drug testing refusals differently, if you do refuse you can generally expect to receive a hefty fine and a lengthy license disqualification. It’s also worth pointing out, that generally the consequences will be great than if you simply took the drug test and failed.

As we’ve said, it doesn’t make sense to refuse drug testing!

What about in workplaces where drug testing is carried out? Again, you can refuse to take a test, but you generally shouldn’t.

The rules are a little less clear in workplaces, because there is no single rule or law for every workplace. Instead, each workplace will have a drug and alcohol policy that employees need to abide by and the policy should include rules around refusal.

Like on the roads, generally if you refuse drug testing at work you will be considered to have given a positive test and face the same consequences as it you had failed the testing. In addition, you may face additional consequences. There have been instances in the past where employees have lost their jobs after refusing to undergo a test.

Refusing workplace drug testing doesn’t make sense either!


Refusing roadside drug testing in the ACT now has additional consequences. Credit FotoSleuth

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

Leave a comment