We are the leading producer of iron and plastic manufactures in India Know more

Drug Driving

Drug driving: Don’t Risk It. Disqualification is Mandatory

Impairment due to alcohol and drugs is a major contributor to death and serious injury on South Australian roads.

South Australia Police (SAPOL) conduct random roadside saliva testing to detect the presence of three illegal drugs including THC (the active component in cannabis); Methylamphetamine (also known as speed, ice or crystal meth; and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) – also known as ecstasy.

What the law says:

Under the Road Traffic Act 1961, it is an offence to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle with THC, methylamphetamine or MDMA present in your oral fluid or blood. Unlike drink driving, where a prescribed concentration of alcohol must be present for an offence to have been committed, the presence of any amount of the drugs tested will constitute an offence.
Drivers and riders can be stopped at random by any police officer at any time anywhere in South Australia, and tested for the these drugs as well as alcohol. This includes a passenger acting as qualified supervising driver for a learner driver.

While the saliva test does not detect prescription or common over the counter medications such as cold and flu tablets, drivers who are impaired by other drugs (either prescription or illicit) will continue to be prosecuted under section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 for the existing offence of driving under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drug – commonly referred to as ‘DUI’.
The legislation does not allow police to use the test results or admissions or evidence relating to the tests for anything other than driving-related offences.

It is an offence to refuse, or to fail to comply with, a request for a drug screening test, oral fluid analysis or blood test.

Severe penalties apply to drivers who commit drug driving offences.

NEW PENALTIES:

On 8 March 2018 new drug driving laws came into effect in South Australia.

The current law in South Australia for Drug Driving Offences and the penalties involved are:

Driving under the Influence (DUI) Drugs

First Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,100 and not more than $1,600, or imprisonment for not more than three months, and a mandatory licence disqualification for not less than twelve months; as well as 6 demerit points.

Subsequent Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,900 and not more than $2,900, or imprisonment for not more than six months, and a mandatory licence disqualification for not less than three years; as well as 6 demerit points.

Driving with a prescribed drug in oral fluid or blood

First Offence: An on the spot fine, 4 demerit points and licence disqualification for three months or a court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $900 and not more than $1,300, 4 demerit points and a licence disqualification of not less than 6 months.

Second Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,100 and not more than $1,600, 4 demerit points, and a licence disqualification of not less than 12 months.

Third Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,500 and not more than $2,200, 4 demerit points, and a licence disqualification of not less than 2 years.

Subsequent Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,500 and not more than $2,200, 4 demerit points, and a licence disqualification of not less than 3 years.

Refusal or failure to undertake a drug screening test, oral fluid analysis or blood test

First Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $900 and not more than $1,300, 6 demerit points, and a licence disqualification for not less than 12 months.

Subsequent offences: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,500 and not more than $2,200, 6 demerit points, and a licence disqualification for not less than 3 years.

Drug driving with a child in the vehicle

If a person commits a drug driving offence with a child under 16 in the vehicle at the time the offence occurred, the offender will be required to pass a dependency assessment prior to their licence being reissued at the end of the disqualification period.

Note – This information is a guide only and should not be relied on for legal purposes.