Generational change is catching up with old dope smokers as police ramp up efforts to take impaired drivers off our roads.
A Warrnambool police highway patrol two-man crew nabbed four cannabis impaired drivers on Monday morning - two were in their 60s as well as a woman in her mid 40s.
Senior Constable Luke Hunter said the four were all caught in central Warrnambool after smoking cannabis earlier on Monday morning.
He said the samples would now be sent to a forensic laboratory for analysis before a decision was made on prosecution.
All four were issued notices of immediate driving prohibition for 12 hours.
The four drivers included a woman in her 60s, a man in his 60s, a woman in her mid 40s and a 21-year-old learner driver without an experienced driver. "These were all seasoned users," Senior Constable Hunter said.
"They all use the excuse that cannabis is not as bad as alcohol but there's little recognition that they are still driving impaired and have cannabis in their systems.
"But if they saw the results of collisions where drug impairment was a contributing factor, then may have a different perspective.
"Anything that impairs a driver's cognitive ability is extremely dangerous and potentially deadly to not only the driver but other road users."
The highway patrol officer said there seemed to be a generational gap involving older users of cannabis and their awareness of their legal responsibilities.
"There is certainly a generation which doesn't see cannabis as harmful and they still think they have the ability and even the right to drive," Senior Constable Hunter said.
"They were all pretty surprised to be intercepted and asked to do an oral fluid test.
"We are doing more tests and we've noticed during COVID we are intercepting more drug impaired drivers."
The officer requested cannabis smokers seek advice about changing their lifestyles or making decisions not to drive. "Don't take our word for it - seek advice from medical professionals and/or counsellors, take the first step rather than being pushed through enforcement," he said.
"Cannabis users need to understand how the drug impacts on their body and mind, how it impacts on reflexes and your basic ability to drive."
During the past couple of years changes have been made to the way the court system deals with drug impaired drivers to bring them in line with drunk drivers.
This year within Victoria there are trials underway which include the immediate suspension of drivers who test positive to drugs, before their samples undergo forensic analysis.
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