MDT - What is it?

How Does Mobile Drug Testing Work?

As with a Random Breath Tests, you will be stopped by police, asked for your licence. The police will then ask you to scrape a device over your tongue. This device is called the Drugwipe 6S Saliva Detection Device, which is a stick-like device that scrapes over the tongue and detects drugs in the saliva, it usually returns a result after only eight minutes. This device will predominantly pick up the following drugs: Ecstasy, Cannabis and methamphetamine.

If your Mobile Drug Test is positive, you’ll be taken to a roadside testing van, bus or back to a police station to provide a saliva sample. This process is considered to be a more reliable indication of whether there are any drugs in your system. The saliva is tested using the Drager Drug Test 5000, which is also oral-based but uses an opto-electronic system to more precisely measure substance levels and takes roughly 20 minutes to complete. If this sample returns a positive reading, the police have the power to ban you from driving for a period up to 24 hours.

After the positive reading, all samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis. If the laboratory confirms the positive roadside result, police will contact you and charge you with driving with the presence of an illegal drug.

What drugs do Mobile Drug Testing detect?

Mobile Drug Tests detect drivers who have recently used three common illegal drugs:

  • Cannabis (also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol);
  • Speed (also known as methylamphetamine);
  • Ecstasy (also known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine) including Ice.

Other drugs are not currently screened due to difficulties in establishing a so-called ‘significant level’. The significant level is typically below the level at which the substance becomes effective from a user point of view but is set at a minimum point where anything registering below that level could be reasonably dismissed as a false positive in court.


In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


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