IT’S a premise even a child could understand: drive under the influence of excessive alcohol or drugs and lose your driver’s licence.
And yet it’s a premise that hundreds of adults in our community are incapable or unwilling of accepting.
Revelations police have nabbed almost 600 local drivers in five months with drugs in their system are both alarming and incomprehensible.
If that number makes your head spin, you might not want to read on.
Because it amounts to more than one in three drivers tested coming up positive.
How can it be that 36 per cent of drivers pulled over could have traces of marijuana, speed or ice in their system when only a tiny fraction of alcohol breath-tests prove positive?
Are drugs so entrenched in Wagga there are convoys of blazed drivers on our roads?
Drug taking, by its very nature, is covert.
This testing has given us a glimpse into a sub-culture many of us never knew existed on the scale it apparently does.
Of course, the 36 per cent hit rate is skewed by the fact police have technology that identifies previous offenders, who are more likely than the average driver to be under the influence of drugs.
But hundreds of drivers, pulled over at random, are still being found to have illegal drugs swimming around their bloodstream.
Many are not the usual drug-taking suspects, and include white-collar professionals and young mums.
Their appearance at Wagga Local Court offers a jolting reminder of how widespread drug use is in our city.
It also reveals how serious the threat to innocent road users is from these “high drivers”.
The police testing regime has sparked a predictable chorus of complaint from civil libertarians and left-wing MPs.
They claim because the test is based on drugs in the system, rather than impairment, some drivers are being charged well after a substance’s psycho-active effects have worn off.
But there’s a simple way to combat this “injustice”: don’t take illicit drugs.
If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.
When you climb behind the wheel of a car, you’re in control of a deadly weapon, as sure as if you’ve got a gun in your hands.
Is it too much to ask that you do it with a clear head?
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