Victoria Police Chief Commissioner, Graham Ashton, this morning finally admitted on ABC Melbourne Mornings to Jon Faine that “the science isn’t in” (0:58:09) on roadside drug testing. Kinglake Ranges News began testing this theory over 18 months ago.
In June 2018, Yarra Ranges Highway Patrol were set up on the Melba Highway northbound just past Dixons Creek CFA.
The first man, John*, who had not smoked marijuana for 5 days, 12 hours and 9 minutes tested positive to an oral swab test and was told by police he would have to leave his car and walk home to Kinglake. (They didn’t, we took them home).
The second man, Peter*, who had only ten minutes earlier smoked 0.5g “half a gram” of marijuana through a ‘bong’ (about 10 ‘cones’ in parlance) then passed through the RBT site in Dixons Creek. He tested clear “OK” for drugs and was told to drive on. “You’re fine mate,” said the testing police officer.
A year later (June 2019) the same two men presented to a roadside alcohol and drug test at a random “booze bus” site on Plenty Rd, citybound, just past La Trobe University.
The first man, who had not smoked marijuana for 9 days, 2 hours and 7 minutes tested positive and was told to leave his car, again.
The second man, who less than two hours’ earlier had again smoked approximately 0.5g of marijuana tested negative and was given the all clear.
The evidence is in that these roadside drug tests – as the Chief Commissioner admitted today – are inaccurate as “the science isn’t in.”
The question is what will happen to fix this? Should the tests be suspended until scientifically proven accurate?
The experiment involved marijuana only and we can not comment on the efficiency of road side drug testing in relation to other illicit substances.
A third experiment is planned at another drug/booze bus site in the near future to confirm our findings.
On both occassions the secondary tests carried out at Victoria Police Forensics in Macleod proved negative. So one man who hadn’t smoked marijuana for a week was finally cleared, as was the man who had only ten minutes earlier smoked half a gram of marijuana.
The tests, both roadside and secondary cleary – and provably – don’t work.
Perhaps it’s time for roadside blood tests.
The two men who agreed to participate in this study have not been paid or rewarded in any way. We have not named them* to protect their identity. Both are well-known long-term Kinglake locals and Kinglake Ranges News thanks them for willingly participating in this news report.
Kinglake Ranges News at no time encouraged – or suggested – the men drug-drive but we had no choice in the matter so asked for permission to observe, record and report on thier behaviour and outcomes.
Victoria Police have been contacted for comment but did not respond before publication, despite several requests.