Mobile Drug Testing

The Role of Mobile Drug Testing

What is Mobile Drug Testing?

Mobile drug testing (MDT) is a method used by law enforcement to detect the presence of drugs in a person’s system during a traffic stop or at a random breath testing (RBT) site.

How does an MDT work?

Mobile Drug Testing (MDT): Experienced drug and traffic offence lawyers
Mobile Drug Testing (MDT)

During a traffic stop or at a random breath testing (RBT) site, police will ask a driver to provide a saliva sample or blow into a breathalyser-like device. That device will analyse the sample for the presence of drugs.

The device will analyse the sample and give a result within a few minutes.

The test typically screens for the presence of several drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines. Some devices can also detect opiates, PCP, and benzodiazepines.

What happens if the MDT comes back positive?

If the MDT test returns a positive result for drugs, the driver will be prohibited from driving for 24 hours.

The sample will also be sent to a laboratory for confirmation. In the event that the laboratory confirms the positive result, the police will contact the driver and issue a Court Attendance Notice.

Limitations of MDT

  • Is not as accurate as blood or urine tests.
  • Results can be affected by other factors such as humidity, temperature, and other environmental factors.
  • Is not able to detect every drug
  • Even small amounts of drugs in a person’s system days after use, can result in criminalisation, even if the drug does not impair the person’s ability to drive.

Failure to comply with MDT

When a NSW Police officer requires a MDT from you, it’s best to comply.

Refusal or failure to submit to test, analysis or assessment, including breath test & breath analysis can result in the following maximum penalties:

  • $1100 for a breath test,
  • and $5500 and 2 years imprisonment for breath analysis if it’s not your first offence.

Refusal or failure to provide samples or preventing sample taking – blood samples can result in the following maximum penalties:

  • between $3300 & 18 months imprisonment or both (first offence)
  • $5500 & 2 years imprisonment or both (second offence).

Importance of legal representation

In Australia, drug driving laws vary from state to state, but they all carry serious consequences, including fines, licence suspension, and even jail time.

If you are facing a drug driving charge, contact us and we can provide you with advice on your legal options

The legal system can be complex and overwhelming. Let us help you navigate it.


Read our blog on The Need to Review Existing Regimes, Mobile Drug Tests

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O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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