Geraldton is now one of WA's regional locations where Police have the capability to test for drug driving, targeting THC (cannabis), Amphetamine and MDMA (ecstasy).
Since 2007, WA Police have been testing road users for drugs by way of a preliminary road side mouth swipe.
In the 3 years since 2011, there have been over 26,000 preliminary roadside drug wipes, which have resulted in over 1580 positive tests.
WA Police have purchased 20 analysers and associated equipment. Seven of which have now been placed regionally throughout Western Australia.
Those found with drugs in their oral fluid, can be charged with driving with a prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid, which attracts a $500 fine for the first offence and any second/subsequent offence attracts a penalty of $500-$1000 and may be disqualified for holding/obtaining a drivers licence for 6 months.
Drivers found to be impaired by drugs, will be prosecuted for for either a charge of Driving while Impaired by Drugs or Driving under the Influence of Drugs. Penalties for the first offence is a minimum of a $900 fine and ten month licence disqualification. Repeat offenders can lose their licence for life and be jailed.
"Road safety is everyone’s responsibility so don’t drive after taking drugs and don’t allow friends to drive if you suspect they may have taken drugs, just as you would stop them from drink driving," a statement from the Police said.