New police test kits nab drug-drivers

Michael TraillNarrogin Observer
Sergeant Heidi Melia and acting Sergeant Robert Jonas-Green with the new kit.
Camera IconSergeant Heidi Melia and acting Sergeant Robert Jonas-Green with the new kit.

Police have sent a stern warning to drug-drivers in the Narrogin region: if you drive under the influence you’ll receive a date with the magistrate.

Narrogin police have new drug-testing kits which means that every police car on local roads is not only a booze bus but a drug-testing station as well.

Narrogin police’s Sergeant Heidi Melia says the equipment had enabled local police to get drug-drivers off the road quicker.

“The difference with these (new kits) is that this tells us straight away,” Sgt Melia said.

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“Prior to these kits the only option was to take (suspected drug- drivers) up to hospital, do a blood test and then wait for the results to come back.

“With these kits, straight away we know and can conduct a secondary confirmation test on the side of the road.”

Within three minutes police will know whether a driver is under the influence, giving police a more effective system of getting drug-drivers off the road.

“We know that people drive around under the influence of drugs but we couldn’t (before the kits) take immediate action about it,” Sgt Melia said.

“For us, the impact has been a lot quicker, they’re going to court quicker, they’re getting the charge against them.

“We’re getting people off the road that are regularly driving under the influence of drugs.”

Acting Sergeant Robert Jonas-Green said a second drug- driving offence would result in a mandatory six months loss of licence.

“For some people it’s a big eye-opener, it can act as big deterrent, so there are massive benefits in relation to that,” Sgt Jonas-Green said.

“From a police perspective the main advantage of these kits is the quick turnaround and it’s a lot less timing-consuming (for us on the road).”

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