Regulations continue to go into effect in many parts of the world in preventing drivers from operating their vehicles while on drugs.
The governments in in many countries such as New South Wales continue to pass legislation empowering police with Drug Testing of a random nature. The legislation also enacted laws which would require drivers which become involved in car accidents to be required to submit to blood tests and urine testing. The new statutes authorize officers to bring drivers who have been involved in deadly car accidents to locations where the tests can be performed such as the hospital.
The random drug testing process is similar with Random Breathalizer Testing which look at blood alcohol levels. The main difference in the test is the ability to detect illegal drugs rather than testing for alcohol. The device includes a small pad for testing which drivers lick with their tongue. The test pad undergoes reactions with illicit drugs like amphetamine, marijuana and ecstasy.
If the test shows “positive,” the car's driver must undergo additional screening which is then performed within an additional vehicle. If this second, more complete and comprehensive test confirms the “positive” result, officers get a warrant to take oral fluid samples in order to further analyze at testing facilities. Meanwhile, the driver is barred from driving for a period of 24 full hours.
Penalties for such driving vary with the severity of the type of drug found in the person's body. If urine as well as blood test shows cocaine, for example, or heroin, include more severe charges than if marijuana is found.
Being caught with more than a single illicit substance increases risks. If someone uses marijuana, the amount of the drug's main, active ingredient, known as THC, falls between the level of 70-100 nanograms, while the amount quikcly drops to a level of approximately 20 nanograms after which it then keeps gradually dropping as time passes. Combining this drug, cannabis, with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 increases the actual blood concentration to a level of 0.14, which raises risks for car accidents by over 50 times!
Statistics also demonstrate that over 40% of drivers have driven while being influenced by drugs in countries like Australia. From the month of December in 2004 to the month of December in 2006, officers in the country of Australia determined that 479 drivers were determined to be driving while on drugs through tests on location at scenes of accidents or pull-over locations.