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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Mobile Drug Testing (MDT)


As with a Random Breath Test, at a Mobile Drug Test you will be stopped by police and asked for your licence. The police will then ask you to scrape a stick-like device over your tongue. This device is called the Drugwipe 6S Saliva Detection Device, which detects drugs in the saliva. It usually returns a result after eight minutes. This device will predominantly detect ecstasy, cannabis and methamphetamine.

If your Mobile Drug Test is positive, you’ll be taken to a roadside testing van or bus, or 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 can more precisely measure substance levels and takes about 20 minutes to provide a result. If this sample returns a positive reading, the police can 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 screened due to difficulties in establishing a “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.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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