Drugs in oral fluid in randomly selected drivers

Forensic Sci Int. 2007 Aug 6;170(2-3):105-10. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.03.028. Epub 2007 Jul 20.


There were 13,176 roadside drug tests performed in the first year of the random drug-testing program conducted in the state of Victoria. Drugs targeted in the testing were methamphetamines and Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). On-site screening was conducted by the police using DrugWipe, while the driver was still in the vehicle and if positive, a second test on collected oral fluid, using the Rapiscan, was performed in a specially outfitted "drug bus" located adjacent to the testing area. Oral fluid on presumptive positive cases was sent to the laboratory for confirmation with limits of quantification of 5, 5, and 2 ng/mL for methamphetamine (MA), methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), and THC, respectively. Recovery experiments conducted in the laboratory showed quantitative recovery of analytes from the collector. When oral fluid could not be collected, blood was taken from the driver and sent to the laboratory for confirmation. These roadside tests gave 313 positive cases following GC-MS confirmation. These comprised 269, 118, and 87 cases positive to MA, MDMA, and THC, respectively. The median oral concentrations (undiluted) of MA, MDMA, and THC was 1136, 2724, and 81 ng/mL. The overall drug positive rate was 2.4% of the screened population. This rate was highest in drivers of cars (2.8%). The average age of drivers detected with a positive drug reading was 28 years. Large vehicle (trucks over 4.5 t) drivers were older; on average at 38 years. Females accounted for 19% of all positives, although none of the positive truck drivers were female. There was one false positive to cannabis when the results of both on-site devices were considered and four to methamphetamines.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Automobile Driving / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / analysis
  • Dronabinol / analysis
  • Female
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hallucinogens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / analysis
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Substance Abuse Detection / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Methamphetamine
  • Dronabinol
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine