http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/specia ... b4?login=1
Apparently they think drug drivers can't go to jail!
Under s.49(1)(a) Road Safety Act, a serious drug driving offence can get you 3 months imprisonment for a first offence, and up to 18 months imprisonment if you have more than 1 prior drink driving or drug driving offences.
If you drive while impaired by a drug (s.49(1)(ba) Road Safety Act) you can get 12 months jail if you have any previous drink or drug driving offences, and 18 months jail if you have 2 or more prior drink or drug driving prior offences.
You have to wonder what the cops and HS are banging on about. We already have laws to jail people who drive while affected by drugs. Driving dangerously - whether you are affected by drugs or not - carries up to 2 years imprisonment. If you injure or kill someone the jail terms can get much longer.
What the law does not do is allow for jail of drivers who are not affected by drugs. If you test positive for a drug but you show no indication of being affected the penalty is mandatory licence loss and a fine. Seems the police want these very low end offenders to be eligible for prison too? It is pointless though, because no court is going to send to jail a driver who shows no indication of being affected by a drug. Even if they provided a 10 year jail term for testing positive at a road side oral swab, no court is ever going to activate it. The reason the penalty for testing positive at the road side swab is at the low end is because all those offenders are at the low end. Often the amounts detected are barely measurable. The drivers who are seriously doped up never make it as far as a booze bus.
Even new “cocktail laws” targeting those who are caught drunk and on drugs while driving do not have jail sentences attached to a range of penalties including fines, vehicle impoundment, licence disqualification and having an interlock for up to four years.
That's rubbish. The same jail options exist for that offence as they do for the traditional drink driving offences. A four year interlock is possible only for someone who has prior offences in the last 10 years. A 6 to 18 month jail term can be imposed on someone who has had prior offences during their lifetime.
A typical first time drink driving or drug driving offender can not go to jail simply for being over the limit. The exception is when they are charged with DUI (s.49.1.a) in which case the penalty can be 3 months jail for a first offence. And the penalty can be years in jail if you cause an accident and kill someone whilst affected by alcohol or a drug. For the article to suggest that drugged drivers who kill people are not eligible for jail is ridiculous. The jail penalties for drink driving and drug driving are largely the same.
What the complaint seems to be about is that people who fail an oral fluid test can't go to jail no matter how many times they fail an oral fluid test. The oral fluid test is the most recent of the 3 layers of legislation tackling drug driving. It is designed to detected trace elements of drug in a peron's body. It is not designed to determine whether or not a person is impaired by the drug. if they find the slightest trace of prescribed drug in your body you commit the offence. Until they can equate concentration of drug with a level of impairment it is unrealistic to jail people who may be unaware that their body contains trace elements of a drug that could have been consumed some days prior. Cannibis is detectable in a blood test many weeks after consumption. This level of detection was not intended to result in jail penalties, because the jail penalties already existed under the impaired driving provisions.