Mobile Drug Testing (MDT)

Mobile Drug Testing (MDT) is increasingly being used by the NSW police to target drivers who take drugs and then drive. MDT detects drivers who have recently used three common illegal drugs: ecstasy, cannabis and speed.

In addition to Random Breath Tests (RBT) the police are using MDT to test drivers who they think might be under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs. The MDT is carried out by police at road-side stops or by police during road patrols.

As with RBT if you are stopped by the police or you approach a RBT/MDT road-side stop you will be asked for your licence and asked to complete a breath test for alcohol. You will then be asked to take an MDT test stick and wipe it down your tounge. The sample on the stick will show if you have any illegal drugs in your system. The results take a few minutes to appear and you need to wait for the police officer to tell you if the result is negative or positive.

If the text is positive you will be escorted to a roadside van or bus or taken back to a police station to provide a further saliva sample. If this sample also tests positive for an illegal drug you will immediately be banned from driving for the next 24 hours. All saliva samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis. If the laboratory confirms the positive roadside result the police will contact you and charge you with driving with the presence of an illegal drug.

If you have been stopped for MDT and your behaviour or driving is erratic and police suspect you are under the influence of an illegal or prescription drug they can require you to undergo blood and urine testing. The blood and urine testing covers a larger range illegal and prescription drugs. If you test positive for a legal or illegal substance that can negatively affect your driving you may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

It is mandatory for all drivers involved in a fatal crash to undergo a blood and urine test for both drugs and alcohol.

If you have been caught with drugs in your system you will be charged by the police and need to appear in court. Penalties imposed by the court can include loss of licence, fines, and imprisonment.

If you have had a MDT and been charged with a drug driving offence you will need expert legal advice and representation in court to avoid a criminal conviction. William Vahl,  of North Shore Criminal Law, is a Sydney criminal lawyer based on Sydney’s North Shore, who is an Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law. Contact him for help on (02) 9955 2298 or 0400 4464 24 (this a 24 hour emergency service).