Presence of prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid/blood/urine

This offence is governed by section 111(1) of the Road Transport Act 2013.

This section provides:
A person must not, while there is present in the person’s oral fluid, blood or urine any prescribed illicit drug:

a. drive a motor vehicle; or
b. occupy the driving seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion; or
c. if the person is the holder of an applicable driver licence (other than an applicable provisional licence or applicable learner licence) occupy the seat in a motor vehicle next to a learner driver who is driving the vehicle.

Police can charge you with a drug driving offence if a roadside drug test detects illegal drugs in your system. The roadside drug test takes a saliva sample and the test can occur at roadside random drug testing or if you are stopped by police.

The roadside drug test takes a saliva sample and can detect the presence of:

  • cannabis
  • ecstasy or MDMA
  • cocaine
  • methamphetamine (ice or speed).

If illegal drugs are detected the test will be repeated. If the test is still positive you will be required to take additional laboratory tests including blood tests or urine samples. These test results can take longer to process than a saliva test. If the test confirms the presence of illegal drugs, you will be charged with a drug driving offence.

Police can issue either a penalty notice of $603 or a Court Attendance Notice for this offence.

If you receive a penalty notice you will also receive a notice of suspension from Transport NSW that suspends your licence for a period of three months.

If you receive a Court Attendance Notice or elect to take the matter to court and a conviction is recorded, the maximum penalty is:

  • If you are a first offender:
    • fine of $2,200;
    • automatic licence disqualification of 6 months which can be reduced to 3 months.
  • If you are a second or subsequent offender:
    • fine of $3,300;
    • automatic licence disqualification of 12 months which can be reduced to 6 months.

This offence does not carry a maximum penalty of imprisonment.

If you have been charged with drug driving, call Karnib & Co Lawyers at any time on 0450503696 or email us on [email protected] to arrange a free consultation. For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skype, Zoom and FaceTime anywhere around the world.