Lismore drivers score highest on roadside drug tests

THE number of drivers detected with illicit drugs in their system in Lismore last week was nine times greater than the state average.

Figures from NSW police media showed 1064 drivers returned positive results during 34,382 roadside drug tests carried out in the 2013/14 financial year across the state.

This means about 3% of the drivers tested had illicit drugs in their system.

On Monday, 40 drivers were tested in Lismore resulting in 11 positive results, or 27.5%.

Lismore highway patrol supervisor Sergeant Stephen Fuhrmann said the numbers were worrying.

"It's of concern the number of people that are driving around with drugs in their system," he said.

"We don't worry about how high the reading is.

"If you're taking drugs, don't drive your car - it couldn't be put more simply."

Of the 11 positive results, 10 were for cannabis and one was for methamphetamine.

Random drug testing was also carried out in Ballina on Tuesday targeting heavy vehicles.

There were only two positive results from 58 tests, both for cannabis.

The Lismore Police station will be getting its own drug testing machine from May next year, making random drug testing operations more common.

The devices detect the presence of cannabis, methamphetamine, amphetamines and cocaine in the driver's saliva.

Once a positive roadside result is detect, a sample is taken from the for further, more sensitive, laboratory testing.

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