Strange ways to fail roadside drug and alcohol testing

While most people fail roadside drug and alcohol testing while driving a vehicle or riding a motorbike, there other ways to fall foul of drink and drug driving laws. Credit Gotrax

You like to consider yourself a responsible person, so on a night out with mates, you organise an Uber to get you to the venue. Then, at the end of the night, just when you’re about to organise an Uber to get you home, you notice an e-scooter on the nature strip. Should you use it to get you home?

The answer is reasonably obvious and it’s a resounding no. If you shouldn’t drive home – because you’ve consumed alcohol or had drugs – then you shouldn’t use an e-scooter or many other forms of transport.

While your safety and the safety of others is the main reason, there’s another good reason. If caught by roadside drug and alcohol testing, you could lose your vehicle licence and face a hefty fine.

Victoria Police nabs e-scooter rider for drink driving

A similar scenario played out a few months ago in Victoria, when police nabbed a rider using a rental scooter while he was three times over the legal limit.

According to an article on the Bicycle Network website, e-scooter riders caught over the blood alcohol limit face the same consequences as someone who is driving a car or riding a motorbike. In this example, the 32-year-old had his licence disqualified for 13 months and he was fined $817. To add further insult, he was fined $240 for not wearing a helmet.

The article quotes Road Policing Operations and Investigations Division Superintendent, John Fitzpatrick as saying the incident should serve as a lesson to all e-scooter riders that you are not immune from drink driving laws.

“Many people may not be aware you can and will lose your driver’s licence if you are caught riding an e-scooter over the legal alcohol limit. Alarmingly, this rider was also caught not wearing a helmet – he was lucky to not be seriously injured given he was riding while impaired.

“Nobody should be getting behind the wheel of any vehicle if they’ve been drinking and over the limit – there are so many alternative transport options available in the CBD to ensure you make it home safely.”

Other ways to fail roadside drug testing

It’s not just while riding e-scooters where you can fail roadside drug and alcohol testing. While the laws can vary from state to state and territory to territory, here are some other examples of other modes of transport where staying off alcohol and drugs is required:

  • In most parts of the country, you can be caught during roadside drug testing while riding a bike. This includes both standard bikes and electric bikes.
  • In some states, you must be sober when riding a horse or using a horse-drawn carriage. This means riders must be below the 0.05 blood-alcohol limit – and not have drugs in their system – while on horseback on public land, including along the roadside. Similarly, they shouldn’t touch their mobile phones and need to obey speed limits and traffic signs.
  • Likewise, don’t operate a ride on mower when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While it’s not safe anywhere, you won’t incur the wrath of the law if you’re mowing for example your own property. However, as soon as you move to public land – for example – the grass on your nature strip – you’re breaking the law.

There have been other – perhaps slightly more funny examples – of other ways to fail roadside drug and alcohol testing from overseas. Like the man using his motorised wheelchair, a person operating a Christmas float and a man who decided to put a motor and wheels on his recliner lounge and take it for a spin!

We’ve also left perhaps the best for last. While it’s several years ago now, that’s the story of a Victorian man who was caught riding a motorised esky while drunk. If you think that’s unique, think again. A similar thing happened to a WA person a few months earlier. There’s even reports in a WA Today article of a group of mates getting in trouble for riding a motorised picnic table, while another man created a motorised couch.

Ingenious or a recipe for disaster – you be the judge!


While most people fail roadside drug and alcohol testing while driving a vehicle or riding a motorbike, there other ways to fall foul of drink and drug driving laws. Credit Gotrax

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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