Pubdate: Sat, 23 Jan 2016
Source: Northern Star (Australia)
Copyright: 2016 APN News & Media Ltd
Author: Melissa Gulbin
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


But Cannabis Users Say They Are Avoiding Detection

POLICE have warned Northern Rivers cannabis users that every police 
car is a potential drug testing unit.

But cannabis users say they are outsmarting mobile drug swab tests by 
swigging vinegar, gargling mouthwash, drinking chocolate milk and 
chewing on vitamin C.

Thousands of people are using Facebook groups to avoid roadside drug tests.

With one in four Northern Rivers motorists testing positive for 
cannabis between April and December 2015  an average of 141 positive 
tests every month  literally thousands of residents have taken to 
social media to prevent detection.

The North Coast RDT Locations Facebook group has grown in membership 
to 2780 within six months.

Members of the open group can share locations of roadside drug test set-ups.

However, every police car is a potential drug test, warned a NSW 
Transport spokesperson.

"The NSW Police force is increasingly conducting MDT from highway 
patrol vehicles," the spokesperson said. "You don't need to see a 
roadside drug bus to be tested.

"MDT could be conducted by the next police car that stops you."

Terry Placing, creator of the Facebook group, said the tip-off group 
was not simply about avoiding detection.

"This Facebook group is a form of community activism," he said.

"These drug tests target cannabis users and encourage use of harder 
drugs which leave the body sooner," he said.

A NSW Transport spokesperson said: "The NSW Government takes a zero 
tolerance approach to drug driving to keep everyone safe on our roads 
which is why we've invested millions into the Mobile Drug Testing technology.

"MDT is about stopping people driving after they use drugs and 
protecting the lives of innocent road users."

Recently NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge called to replace the drug 
tests with an evidence-based scheme that reliably tested for impairment.

"The swabs test for cannabis, amphetamine and ecstasy, but do not 
identify opiates or pharmaceutical medications such as painkillers 
and anti-depressants, which are known to impair driving skills," he said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom