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WA police crack down on drugged drivers

Date

Aleisha Orr

West Australian police officers have improved ways to identify people driving with drugs in their system.

More than $1.3 million has been allocated from the Road Trauma Trust Account to purchase 20 Dräger Drug Analysers.

The new machines will provide a more efficient and accurate method of testing, something which has not changed since drug testing drivers was first introduced in 2007.

Inspector Dominic Wood said police expect that reducing the amount of people on the roads on drugs will reduce the amount of people killed and seriously injured in crashes.

Police have the power to stop drivers suspected of driving while impaired by any drug and those found with illicit drugs in their oral fluid can be charged with the offence of driving with prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid.

The penalty for a first offence is a $500 maximum fine and three demerit points.

A second or subsequent offence attracts a penalty of $500-$1000 and the driver may be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a minimum of six months.

Drivers found to be impaired by the prescribed or illicit drugs will be prosecuted for a more serious offence; drug impaired driving under the influence of drugs.

Inspector Wood said these offences apply where police have evidence of suspicious or erratic driving behaviour and where that suspicion is confirmed following a driver assessment and/or blood tests.

The penalty for a first offence for either charge is a fine between $900-$2,500.

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