Bali introduces random roadside drug testing

Random roadside drug testing has been implemented in Bali, although there is an important qualification. Credit Geio Tischler (image modified).

The holiday hotpot Bali has started random roadside drug testing. While this is seemingly bad news for those Australians who like to travel and, dare we say it, play up, there is a qualification.

According to The Bali Sun, the roadside drug testing is only for tourist drivers at top tourist attractions on the island. The first drug tests were conducted in April at the popular Goa Gajah Temple parking lot. Urine drug testing – not saliva drug testing – was used for the samples and analysis. Only ten tourist drivers were selected at random on the first day, with all ten drivers passing the test.

Drug testing a safety initiative? 

While in Australia drug testing is conducted on our roadsides and in our workplaces to improve safety, the message from Bali authorities isn’t quite the same.

In the Gianyar Regency Province where the first drug testing was conducted, the Gianyar Regency National Narcotics Agency said that the spot checks are part of a wider mission to crack down on the use of drugs.

An official is quoted as saying, “This early detection is carried out to determine whether or not there are narcotics in a person’s body in order to make the Gianyar area free from narcotics abuse and illicit trafficking.”

There is mention in the article that the initiative will also help ensure that the tourism sector is providing safe, reliable, and legally operating taxis and transportation services. It will also, no doubt, help reduce the incidents of tourist service providers driving and conducting work activities under the influence.

Why urine drug testing?

You might be wondering why urine samples were used for the drug testing and not saliva. The simple answer is, we don’t know. It’s not mentioned in the article or anywhere else that we could find.

Certainly, you won’t see urine drug testing being used on roadsides in Australia. Could you imagine being pulled up by a police officer who then asks you to pee into a jar? It just wouldn’t work for larger scale testing and creates several issues.

So, we thought we would provide a brief rundown on the advantages of using saliva samples rather than urine for drug testing.

  • Saliva sample collection is non-invasive and can be conducted almost anywhere. Conversely, obtaining urine samples requires restroom facilities and may be perceived as intrusive and embarrassing by some individuals.
  • The risk of tampering with the process is significantly higher with urine samples. Instances have occurred where individuals have attempted to evade detection by substituting their urine with that of another person. Additionally, products designed to mimic urine are readily accessible.
  • Most importantly, saliva drug testing offers a more accurate means of determining whether individuals are unfit to drive or work due to drug use. Unlike urine samples, which can detect drugs several days after consumption, saliva testing provides real-time insights. This distinction is crucial in Australia as roadside and workplace drug testing prioritises safety over determining whether employee has simply taken drugs.

If you’d like to find out more about the advantages of saliva drug testing – and why we recommend it for workplaces – contact Integrity Sampling.


Random roadside drug testing has been implemented in Bali, although there is an important qualification. Credit Geio Tischler (image modified).

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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