Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bumpy Road Ahead For The Law

Welcome to Queensland, where you can torture a disabled kid and walk free from court, posing and strutting in front of the media, with no conviction recorded:

District Court Judge Milton Griffin described the assault... as "cowardice in the extreme" but failed to record convictions... said it was entirely inappropriate and manifestly inadequate to issue a caution to the two girls... before placing them on 12-month probation orders "to protect society in the future".

...but drive a car months after taking a single drag of marijuana and you'll be fined over $1000 and be suspended from driving for up to three months for a first offence.

Random drug driving tests introduced on December 1 enable police to swab test drivers for marijuana and methamphetamines such as ecstasy and ice.

The flaw in the law is that a driver can return a positive test for marijuana up to 12 weeks after smoking, long after the intoxicating effects of the drug are gone - about 11 weeks and 5 or 6 days, in fact.

It should provide a field day for lawyers who will argue that their clients were not intoxicated or - better still - that they are the unfortunate victims of passive dope smoking.

Ones personal argument against penalising drivers who have used illegal drugs weeks earlier is simply that the premise for testing and arresting in such cases is dishonest. A driver who is subject to a technical sobriety test should be tested for sobriety.

If the government wants to control illegal drugs with random tests, it should not hide behind other excuses and it should clarify what rights - if any - we have at all once we get behind the wheel of a car.

-- Nick

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