People might think that one-off drug use doesn’t have consequences, but a NSW bus driver just learned the hard way that indeed, drug use has consequences, even if it was just a one-time incident.
A decision released by the Civil and Administrative Tribunal rejected the contention of the bus driver in question that her peremptory suspension is not proper, saying the suspension is legal because she did not give evidence that would counter the safety concerns aired by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and Transport for NSW.
Oral drug test reveals one-off drug use
The bus driver, whose identity and that of her employer have been withheld, failed an oral drug test in January 2014. She returned a positive result for amphetamines or methamphetamines. A confirmatory urine test was needed but she resigned before the test could be done. She later admitted that five days before the oral fluid collection, she took Ecstasy at a party, but insisted it was just a one-off incident.
The RMS subsequently suspended her “driver authority” and said she has to undertake a treatment program, be in remission for at least three months, produce a medical report that will prove she has no impairments that could affect her driving, and provide a doctor’s form attesting that she is medically fit to drive before it can be restored.
However her story ends, this NSW bus driver’s situation tells us very clearly that even a potentially single use of an illicit drug is enough (and should be enough) to suspend or dismiss a person from a public safety sensitive job. Even if it was just done just for kicks, substance abuse at work should never be condoned in any way, shape or form, especially for people who are, in some ways, responsible for the safety of other people.
Click here to read the decision in full.