POLICE have made the dramatic decision to cease mobile drug testing indefinitely due to left-wing political pressures, sources have revealed.
Wagga’s one-in-three hit rate on drug drivers has now blown out to a lacklustre one-in-16, with only 14 positive roadside tests recorded this year.
Highway Patrol will no longer target P-platers, criminals and repeat offenders.
It comes after the NSW Greens labelled targeted testing a “breach of human rights” and described drug use as a “medical” – rather than criminal – concern.
The number of drug-affected drivers detected on the city’s roads has dropped by more than 80 per cent since the controversial changes, according to official Highway Patrol figures.
Police have conducted just 225 roadside tests this year, yielding only 14 positives from stationary testing.
Wagga Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Wayne McLachlan confirmed his unit was not carrying out mobile tests.
“No, at present we are not conducting them,” he said.
“We have had 14 positive tests from the year, with no positive tests over Easter.”
The Senior Sergeant last year trumpeted police’s one-in-three hit rate on drug drivers.
It is understood local police are so frustrated with the new regime, they conducted no drug testing over Easter.
The number is also alarmingly low considering Wagga police last year charged 150 people in one week and Wagga Local Court heard pleas from 80 alleged drug-drivers in a single day.
Senior Sergeant McLachlan said he was unable to explain the dramatic decrease in both initial tests and detections.
Under the federal government’s tough stance on drug driving, NSW Police are funded to conduct 100,000 roadside tests across the state every year.
Despite the allocation, Wagga police have only conducted 225 tests – an average of just two per day.
Regional Highway Patrol Superintendent Bob Ryan could not reveal if mobile testing had ceased in Wagga, but he confirmed a gravitation towards stationary testing across the state.
“We want it to act as a deterrent and the best way to do that is while testing is stationary,” he said.
“Stationary drug testing catches everyone passing through an area.”
The top cop admitted tests and detections were both unusually low in Wagga, and said: “We’re having a look at that at the moment.”
“It’s not yet known why these numbers have reduced,” he said.
The Greens' Justice spokesman David Shoebridge has long criticised police for “profiling” and “targeting” drug users who may not be under the influence when driving.
“The current roadside drug testing regime is arbitrary, invasive and has no relationship to the impairment of drivers on our roads,” he said.
“Strong evidence suggests the testing is also not random, with many drivers repeatedly tested over short periods of time.
“This flawed drug testing regime is much more about ideology than any serious attempt at driver safety.”