Mike Stevens | Nov 3, 2009

VICTORIA POLICE will double the number of random drug tests it conducts, from around 20,000 to 40,000 by the end of 2012.

Deputy Commissioner for Road Policing Ken Lay said the program, which tests for methylamphetamine (Speed, Ice), MDMA (Ecstasy) and delta-9 tetra-hydrocannabinol (Cannabis), will be expanded across the state.

"Police from all five of the state's regional boundaries will be equipped to greatly increase the number of random drug tests performed," he said.

"Drug drivers are an emerging problem for police and the expansion of this program will see more drivers tested, and ultimately, more drivers caught for driving while drug affected."

Approximately 22,998 roadside drug tests were conducted in the past year, with 341 offenders - one in 67 - caught with an illicit substance in their system.

By comparison, the strike rate for drunk drivers caught with a blood alcohol content higher than .05 is around one in 160.

The expanded program will include the purchase of 25 additional testing devices and 25,000 roadside testing kits - at a cost of around $10 million to the Victorian State Government.

"We'll be running drug testing operations of a similar nature to booze bus operations," he said.

"Drivers will now be tested for drugs by police cars as well as drugs buses. Motorists can expect to be drug-tested anywhere, at anytime."

"We know there are drug affected drivers on the roads, and we'll be working hard to remove as many of them as possible," Mr Lay said.

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