'We need drug-drive testing'
May 21, 2006
drug-drive testing should be introduced in the
Territory, it was claimed yesterday.
call was made after a survey revealed one in five
Territory drivers had admitted to driving under the
influence of popular drugs like ecstasy and
Many of those
surveyed also said they had driven a car within an
hour of taking drugs.
The survey was
carried out by car and home insurer AAMI. Victoria
is the only state or territory in the country that
conducts the roadside tests.
Independent MLA Gerry
Wood said the Territory Government should
investigate how the testing operated in Victoria and
introduce it in the NT.
"The Territory should
definitely have it," Mr Wood said. "Anyone who is
driving in an unfit state due to drugs shouldn't be
on the road.
"Marijuana use is a
major concern in the NT and those people using it
shouldn't be behind a wheel."
A spokesman for NT
Police Minister Paul Henderson said the Government
was not considering implementing random drug tests
But Mr Wood said if
the Government was not introducing it because of
financial reasons, those reasons should be set aside
for the safety of all road users.
Nearly 20 per cent of
people interviewed revealed that at some time they
had driven while under the influence of illicit
And another survey,
carried out by the Drug and Alcohol Council of the
NT, found ecstasy was becoming more popular with
drug users because it was easier to get.
In Melbourne, the
Victorian Government was recently forced to include
the drug in road laws after a secret police test
caught up to 300 motorists under the influence of
That government is
also considering harsher penalties for drug-drivers,
extra drug-testing buses and equipment to enable
booze buses to also test for drugs.
Chief Minister Clare
Martin set up a road safety taskforce in January to
investigate incidents on NT roads.
Government survey revealed that in the NT users
combine drugs with alcohol, that pharmaceutical
drugs are becoming more popular and LSD and cocaine
It also found
cannabis and ecstasy were the most common drugs
The survey attracted
recent criticism because it paid drug users $30 to
take part in it.