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The facts about roadside drug testing

March 2010
for a general audience

Driving a motor vehicle safely is a complex task. We must be mentally alert, have clear vision and good physical coordination. This allows us to pay close attention to many things at once, and to react quickly when something unexpected happens. Taking drugs or other substances that affect the brain can reduce the ability to drive safely.

It is an offence to drive if you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs and do not have proper control of your vehicle. Keep in mind that if you have taken alcohol or other drugs it is difficult to assess how much your own driving skills have been affected.

If you intend to drive, the safest option is not to have any alcohol or other drugs in your system at all. This includes any prescription medicines that affect your driving ability. It is also important to remember that fatigue, and the after-effects of drug use—“coming down”—can affect your driving skills.

This fact sheet explains drug testing of drivers in Victoria, and the steps you can take to stay safe.

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Information you heard is intended as a general guide only. This audio is copyrighted by the Australian Drug Foundation. Visit for more