ALBURY police are appalled that one in five drivers they tested over two days late last week were found to have drugs in their system.
Albury highway patrol officers conducted roadside drug and alcohol testing across Albury, Lavington and Glenroy from Thursday and Friday afternoons until early the next morning.
Of the 72 drivers tested for drugs, 14 were positive for either methamphetamine or cannabis.
“That’s more than one in five vehicles,” Sgt Matt Zemaitis said yesterday.
“We are absolutely appalled with that figure.”
In one case, an Albury man in his 20s tested positive twice for drugs in his system — on Thursday night and on Friday.
In another case, a male in his 40s who tested positive for methamphetamine was driving with two passengers when he was stopped in Wodonga Place at 12.15am on Friday.
A truck driver also tested positive to methamphetamine.
He was also breached for five logbook entries.
Two people doubled up, testing positive for driving with both drugs and alcohol in their system.
Police said six of 163 drivers tested had alcohol in their system.
Sgt Zemaitis said it was a scary thought that any car passing you could be driven by someone who was on drugs.
“Not only are they putting their own lives at risk, they’re putting the lives of others in the car and other road users at risk,” he said.
“As a community, we should not be tolerating that.”
Sgt Zemaitis said the results indicated drivers were not responding to safety messages.
“Quite simply, drink and drugs impair your driving. Driving requires your full, 100 per cent, concentration,” he said.
People who test positive for drugs in NSW are banned from driving for 24 hours and await the outcome of further testing.
The roadside saliva tests are sent to a laboratory to confirm the presence of drugs.
Sgt Zemaitis said that process usually took about a month and from there, drivers were summonsed to court on a charge of driving with an illicit drug in their system.
If found guilty, the penalty can be a fine and disqualification from driving.
Recent NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research statistics found the average penalty for drug driving was a fine of $581, with a range of $50 to $2500.