Queensland adds cocaine to roadside drug testing

If you take cocaine and drive in Queensland, roadside drug testing can now catch you. Credit loloieg https://shorturl.at/mqw78

If you take cocaine and drive in Queensland, roadside drug testing will catch you.

That’s the key message from Queensland Police after the Minister for Transport and Main Roads announced that their random roadside drug testing program would be expanded to include cocaine.

Previously, Queensland Police were only able to detect the presence of methylamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy) and THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) in saliva samples.

In a statement by the Queensland Government, the addition of cocaine is due in part to an increase in the number of serious road accidents involving drivers who have tested positive for cocaine.

“The addition of cocaine to the program is in response to the increasing number of drivers caught with cocaine in their system over the last 5 years,” the statement says. It adds that it’s also part of sweeping drug driving reforms committed to in the Queensland Road Safety Action Plan.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said in the statement, “It is shocking to think that a quarter of all random drug tests in our state return a positive result, this is unacceptable.

“If you’re behind the wheel with drugs in your system, you’re not only a danger to yourself but to every other Queenslander and we make no apologies for coming down hard. Drug driving is one of the major contributing factors to fatal crashes…”

Cocaine and roadside drug testing a controversial issue

While cocaine will now be detected in Queensland, most states and territories still don’t check for the drug in roadside drug testing. NSW is one exception. It’s been detecting cocaine in drivers since 2018.

While there has been a push for it to be introduced in Victoria, currently cocaine is not tested for. Similarly, there’s been discussion in other states and territories, but Integrity Sampling understands that NSW and now Queensland are the only states to detect cocaine.

Queensland Greens MP Michael Berkman has been outspoken in his criticism of not including cocaine in the past. He’s even gone so far as claiming… “The reason they don’t test for cocaine, or haven’t traditionally, is because people who use cocaine are much more influential. We’re talking about people like bankers, lawyers and their children.”

While we’ll let you be the judge of that comment, it is worth noting that cocaine is a relatively widely used drug. Certainly not as widely used as cannabis, but with 4.2 per cent of Australians aged 14 years and over having used cocaine in the past year, it is one of the more popular illicit drugs in our country.

It’s also worth noting that Integrity Sampling does check for cocaine as part of its workplace drug testing, across Queensland and other parts of Australia. We use the Drager DrugTest 5000 for all our drug testing, which Queensland Police also uses as part of its program.

You can find a summary of how roadside drug testing is carried out in Queensland in a post from earlier this year.


If you take cocaine and drive in Queensland, roadside drug testing can now catch you. Credit loloieg https://shorturl.at/mqw78

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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