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Are You Ready to Lose Your Licence for Being Sober? By James Reed

     The people need to be aware of this if they are not, so watch out:

“Roadside drug tests to detect cannabis are returning incorrect readings, according to a new study. University of Sydney PhD student Thomas Arkell found that the two most commonly used devices by police gave false results. 'What we found was that these test results often came back positive when they should have been negative, or negative when they should have been positive,' he said. A study published in the Drug Testing and Analysis journal found two commonly used police devices regularly failed to detect high levels of THC - the active active ingredient in cannabis. After testing 300 subjects who had cannabis in their system, the Securetec DrugWipe returned a false negative nine per cent of the time. The Draeger DrugTest 5000 also wasn't able to detect cannabis and got it wrong in 16 per cent of all tests. Mr Arkell found that the police devices returned false positive readings of five and 10 per cent respectively when the subjects had a low amount of THC in their saliva. Both devices were used when charging almost 10,000 users who drove while under the influence of cannabis in New South Wales in 2016. The number of drivers undergoing roadside drug tests on the rise every year, with NSW Police set to conduct 200,000 tests in 2020. 'Given that these tests can cost at least $40 each – and potentially lead to serious life-changing penalties for drivers – it is imperative that these concerns around reliability and accuracy are addressed,' Mr Arkell said. The study also found that accuracy, specificity and sensitivity of the two police devices weren't up to the standard recommended by EU authorities. Senior author of the study Iain McGregor said cannabis testing should be just as reliable as blood alcohol testing. 'Detecting impairment due to cannabis use is an important goal in promoting road safety but using saliva tests to do this appears fraught with issues,' Prof McGregor said. 'We should instead be focusing on developing novel methods for detecting drivers who are actually impaired by cannabis. 'The two devices used by police in MDT were never designed to measure impairment'.”

     As far as advice goes, have your lawyer’s phone number on speed dial. Me, I can’t afford to drive a car, so they will be pushing to catch me, unless footpath tests are in.



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Tuesday, 14 July 2020
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