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Procedure Properties

Title: Substance Testing - Corrective Services Facilities - Random and Targeted
Category: Offender Management
Version: 02
Implement Date: 15 August 2011
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public

Authority

Appendices and Forms

Procedures

Policies

Procedure - Substance Testing - Corrective Services Facilities - Random and Targeted


Purpose
1.General
2.Definitions
3.Request for Substance Testing
3.1Drug Free Incentive Scheme/Drug Treatment Unit
3.2Targeted Testing
3.2Random Testing
4.Preparation for taking urine sample
5.Taking a urine sample
6.Determining Sample Results
6.1Temperature Validation
6.2Presence of Adulterants
6.3Read Results
6.4Invalid samples
6.5Refusal or failure to provide a urine sample
7.0Waste
7.1Spills
7.2Sample Disposal
8.Initial results
8.1Random Testing
8.2Targeted Testing
9.Forwarding samples to the laboratory (QHFSS)
10.Confirmatory tests
11.Taking a breath sample

Purpose

To provide a process for managing random and targeted substance testing within Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) facilities to detect unauthorised substance use by prisoners.

1. General

A prisoner must be treated with due regard for his/her dignity during the substance testing process.

Drug testing of prisoners is located under sections 41-43 of the Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) and Corrective Services Regulation 2006 Division 6: Test Samples.

For health information and advice, refer procedure - Drug Screening.

2. Definitions

'alcometer' - a breathalyser device used for estimating blood alcohol content from a breath sample.

'authorised medication' - a prescribed or non-prescribed substance which the prisoner has been approved to ingest by an appropriate officer of the Agency. These substances may affect the results of testing for illicit substances.

'confirmatory test' - a more detailed test of the sample at a laboratory using GC/MS technology.

'dry cell' - a room with no available running water.

'Gas Chromatographic/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)' - the test conducted at a laboratory that determines the presence of a particular drug and its concentration.

'instant testing' - a sample of urine collected and tested immediately by trained officers. A presumptive (screening) test is used to analyse the urine. The sample may be sent to the laboratory for confirmatory testing.

'presumptive (screening) test' - a test conducted on a prisoner's urine using an immunoassay testing kit that will provide an immediate indication of the presence of drugs in specific drug classes.


'reasonable excuse' - an excuse that can be substantiated with appropriate and relevant evidence e.g. a medical condition preventing a prisoner from supplying a test sample in the time it might reasonably take another prisoner who does not have the medical condition to supply the sample.

'split sample test cup' - an instant testing device which provides instant screening results for several drug types.

'underpad (bluey)' - an absorbent underpad placed on surface upon which substance testing products are placed for hygiene purposes.

3. Request for Substance Testing

A prisoner may be required to undergo testing to determine unauthorised substance use (refer CSA s 41-43). This will include offenders serving detention orders under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 (DPSOA), other court order or management plan.

Testing may be conducted for purposes including:

  1. Drug Free Incentive Scheme/Drug Treatment Unit
  2. an offender intervention or rehabilitation program to measure compliance with a management plan, contract or agreement
  3. targeted testing arising from intelligence information or the presence of identified indicators - refer Indicators for Targeted Substance Testing (Custodial);
  4. monitoring substance use due to previous drug-related contravention, breach or incident; and
  5. random testing.

3.1 Drug Free Incentive Scheme/Drug Treatment Unit

A drug free incentive scheme/drug treatment unit focuses on demand reduction by addressing a prisoner's substance abuse. Motivated prisoners can access a supportive, therapeutic and non-judgemental environment to develop an understanding of their addiction and associated behaviours, as well as learn relapse prevention behaviours. Regular substance testing is required as part of this program and a positive result may not be subject to a breach of discipline at the discretion of the General Manager. A drug treatment unit may also impose restrictions on the prisoner for drug use (e.g. loss of contact visits) and provide rewards for continued abstinence (speedier return of contact visits).

3.2 Targeted Testing

Targeted testing is the testing of prisoners based on the receipt of intelligence information or the obvious presence of physical and/or behavioural symptoms.

To make targeted testing decisions, refer Indicators for Targeted Substance Testing (Custodial) (in-confidence).

If an offender returns to custody for a contravention relating to substance abuse, the relevant probation and parole officer must advise the Intel officer at the relevant correctional services facility of the frequency of testing required in custody. If a DPSOA offender, the High Risk Offender Management Unit (HROMU) must determine frequency of testing required.

3.2 Random Testing

Random urinalysis testing will occur on a weekly basis within high and low security corrective services facilities. Testing is to be unpredictable in terms of the day and time of the week that the samples are collected, that is, testing should be undertaken on only one day per week and must vary every week in terms of the day and time that testing is undertaken. The date and time of the testing is to be noted on both the 'Drug Test (Custodial) form and the Random Testing for Statistical Purposes form.

The general manager must nominate a person to oversee random urinalysis testing at each facility and ensure the contact details of this person is provided to Operational Support Services Directorate. This person must ensure all aspects of the process are conducted in accordance with this procedure and act as point of contact for all enquiries.

Operational Support Services Directorate will determine the number of prisoners at each facility required to provide test samples by generating a weekly listing of prisoners required to undergo random urinalysis testing. Prisoners to be tested are selected randomly from the offender management system (IOMS) using an endorsed selection process.

Operational Support Services Directorate will then generate an individual form for each prisoner required to undergo random testing and forward this form to the facility prior to the commencement of testing. Refer administrative form - Drug Test (Custodial).

Facilities must roster adequate staff to collect the test samples for the random testing program. Testing must use Split Sample Test Cups. Any presumptive positive must be confirmed using GC/MS technology (i.e. sent to laboratory for a confirmatory test).

No action is to be taken against an offender in a high secure facility until the results of the confirmatory tests are received at the corrective services facility. .A prisoner registering a positive result on the instant testing cup at a low secure centre is sent back to a high secure facility. If the confirmatory results indicate a negative result, the prisoner is sent back to a low secure centre as soon as practicable. If the confirmatory results indicate a positive result, the prisoner is to remain in the high secure centre. If the prisoner tests positive to cannabis and has recently arrived in a low secure centre from another centre, the prisoner is to be retested six weeks later before any action is taken - Refer Drug Retention Periods.

4. Preparation for taking urine sample

Refer CSA s 41-43.

Officers must have the following items available prior to a sample of urine being taken from a prisoner-

  1. a minimum of five split sample test cups still unopened in their pouch (“the cups”);
  2. nitrile protective gloves for staff and prisoners;
  3. barcode labels and marking pens for the cups;
  4. tamper-proof evidence tape for sealing a split sample test cup (positive result or suspected adulteration only);
  5. antiseptic hand wash and antiseptic wipes, for example “Isowipes”;
  6. underpad (bluey);
  7. sanitary napkins and pads;
  8. a bio hazard disposal bin and bag to dispose of negative samples and spillages;
  9. PVC or water resistant apron to be worn by the officer; and
  10. Safety glasses meeting Australian and New Zealand Standards 1337:1992 or the 1997 amendment, if requested by the officer.

Refer appendix - Substance Testing - Female Prisoners in Custody for specific items relating to collection of urine samples from female prisoners.

In addition, officers must have the appropriate administrative forms prior to conducting sample collection as follows:

  1. Drug Test (Custodial);
  2. Random Testing for Statistical Collection (random testing only)
  3. Urine Toxicology Service Request - Random Testing or Urine Toxicology Service Request - Targeted Testing; and
  4. Chain of Custody.

The Drug Test (Custodial) form must be completed up to “Time taken to read the test” prior to the sample being taken. The remainder of this form is completed after the sample has been taken.

Before taking the test, an officer must:

  1. ask the prisoner if he/she is on any medication (prescribed or otherwise);
  2. note the prisoner's reply on the Drug Test (Custodial) form, listing all prescribed medication and over the counter preparations he/she claims to have taken;
  3. ask the prisoner if he/she has used any illicit substances; and
  4. note the prisoner's reply on the Drug Test (Custodial) form, listing all substances he/she claims to have used.

The Urine Toxicology Service Request and Chain of Custody forms are only completed when a positive sample or suspected adulteration has been identified on the split sample test cup. The Random Testing for Statistical Collection form is completed indicating prisoner results of the tests and then forwarded back to Operational Support Services.

5. Taking a urine sample

Refer CSA s 42 and Corrective Services Regulation Division 6

At least two officers must be present during the sample taking and testing process. Officers involved in sample taking must have demonstrated competency in substance testing procedures as part of the Custodial Officer Entry Program or training assessed as equivalent by the Executive Director, QCS Academy.

The collecting officer must have the relevant delegation of the chief executive powers. Refer - Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence).

The safety of officers collecting and testing urine is paramount. Officers, when collecting or testing urine, particularly those with cuts/abrasions, must exercise due care and take all necessary precautions (refer to the following procedures: Infection Control and Needle Stick/Blood and Body Fluids Exposure).

If a prisoner is known to display aggressive or inappropriate behaviour, officers should discuss and determine appropriate arrangements in advance of the sample being taken with the General Manager of the corrective services facility.

The collecting officer must wear disposable nitrile gloves during all stages of the sample collection and testing. Officers collecting a sample of urine, on request, must be provided with -

  1. a PVC or other water resistant apron; and
  2. safety glasses meeting Australian and New Zealand Standards 1337:1992 or the 1997 amendment.

Prior to taking the sample, an officer must confirm the identity of the prisoner.

A search requiring the removal of clothing must be conducted prior to the prisoner providing a urine sample. Refer CSA ss 33, 35; Directions for a Search Requiring the Removal of Clothing of Prisoners. The prisoner must be permitted to dress prior to providing the sample.

A prisoner must be kept under direct supervision or kept in a dry cell (or a secure room if a dry cell is not available) until the test process is completed and a valid test result obtained.

An officer must observe the prisoner providing a sample to confirm the sample belongs to the prisoner and to ensure the sample has not been adulterated or substituted. Observing officers, or any officer in view of a prisoner giving a sample, are to be of the same gender as the prisoner giving the sample. If an officer is not of the same gender as the prisoner giving a sample, then that officer should remain out of sight of the prisoner but in sight of the other officer who is observing the prisoner in question.

The prisoner must-

  1. wear disposable nitrile gloves;
  2. choose one cup (unopened in its pouch) from a minimum of five cups (all unopened in their pouch);
  3. be escorted to the area in which he/she is to provide the sample;
  4. open the pouch containing the cup and give the empty pouch to a testing officer;
  5. open the cup and provide the lid of the cup to a testing officer so they can write the name of the prisoner giving the sample and the date the sample was taken on the lid, which is then returned to the prisoner;
  6. not take any item other than the cup and lid into the area where the sample is being provided;
  7. fill the cup to or above the 'minimum fill level' indicator;
  8. after providing a sample, immediately secure the lid on the cup;
  9. immediately hand the cup to the officer ; and
  10. be able to observe his/her sample at all times, until the cup is either disposed of (if an invalid or negative test) or had the tamper-proof evidence tape applied (if a positive test or suspected adulterated sample).

Prior to testing, the testing officer must advise the prisoner to fill the sample to or above the minimum fill level, seal the sample and immediately return to the officer. It is important the cup is not inverted i.e. turned upside down by the prisoner during the process. Following collection of the sample, the testing officers must ensure the lid is securely closed.

For positive and suspected adulterated samples, the officer must apply the tamper-proof evidence tape in view of the prisoner, ensuring the tape has been covered across the lid and both sides of the cup. Additionally, the prisoner must sign the Chain of Custody form under the section “To be completed by the prisoner”.

Do NOT use the cup if the pouch is broken prior to giving to the prisoner.

6. Determining Sample Results

Key actions are:

The prisoner must be present when the result of the test is known;

The testing officer should immediately check the temperature validation and the adulterant strip;

If the test indicates adulteration, the test must be sent to the laboratory for confirmatory testing;

If the drug test is positive, the test must be sent to the laboratory for confirmatory testing; and

If the test result for temperature, adulteration and drug test is negative, the split sample test cup should be placed in a biohazard bag, sealed and disposed of in a biohazard bin.

Do not shake a full split sample test cup! This may cause the cup to malfunction and the test may have to be retaken. Even with the lid on, the cup should be handled carefully (e.g. like a glass of water).

6.1 Temperature Validation

The temperature of a sample needs to be recorded on administrative form - Drug Test (Custodial).

Australian/New Zealand Standard 4308:2006 deems a sample taken with a temperature range of between 33ºC and 38ºC. The cup tests for a range between 32ºC and 38ºC.

Once the cup has been sealed and initialled, officers need to check the temperature indication chart at the back of the cup to determine if the temperature falls between 32ºC and 38ºC.

The green dot indicates the temperature of the urine. The green dot should appear on the temperature indication chart to indicate it is a fresh sample with no interference. The black line on the temperature chart should start to discolour to a tan colour to indicate temperature variation of 0.5ºC on either side of the green dot. The appearance of the green dot and the tan discolouration means you can move to the next stage of reading the sample.

6.2 Presence of Adulterants

To determine the presence of adulterants, officers should peel back the sticker as far as the adulterant panel.

The cup tests for four adulterants as follows:

  1. nitrate (NI) - testing for the presence of nitrates with a “too high” reading meaning suspected chemical adulteration;
  2. specific gravity (SG) - tests for sample dilution. A “too high” reading indicates either chemical adulteration or substitution with a “too low” reading indicating dilution or substitution;
  3. creatinine (CR) - tests creatinine concentration with a “too low” reading indicating dilution or substitution; and
  4. pH - testing for the presence of acidic or alkaline adulterants. A “too high” and/or a “too low” reading can indicate chemical adulteration, dilution or substitution.

Officers need to look at the colour changes on the relevant panels i.e. NI, SG, CR or pH, to determine the outcome.

Adulterant test results are as follows:

If the results of the test fall within the normal range, officers can peel off the remaining sticker and assess the drug type results. If the adulterants results fall in either the “Too Low” or “Too High” section, the test may have been tampered with.

If the temperature results or adulterants results are not deemed normal, the test may have been adulterated. Proceed to 6.4 invalid Samples.

6.3 Read Results

The cup contains seven drug types for which the offender is to be tested. These are Amphetamines (AMP), Benzodiazepines (BZD), Buprenorphine (BUP), Cocaine (COC), Methamphetamine (METH), Opiates (OPI) and Cannabis (THC).

To ascertain the results, the cup has a Control line (C) and a Test line (T). To read the results is as follows:

The officer must read the results of the test while in the presence of the prisoner. If the results are negative, this is to be recorded on both the offender management system (IOMS) under “Drug Test History” and the Drug Test (Custodial) form for filing in the offender's file.

If the result is for a random test, the result should also be recorded on the Random Testing for Statistical Collection form next to the prisoner's details and forwarded to Operational Support Services Directorate. The split sample test cup should then be discarded in a bio hazard waste disposal bag and bin.

If the results are positive or adulteration is suspected, proceed to 9 Forwarding Samples to laboratory (QHFSS).

6.4 Invalid samples

If the sample is deemed "invalid" or adulterated, the prisoner must be taken to have given a positive test sample (refer CSA s43 (4)).

If the sample is accidentally spilt, a second sample is to be provided by the prisoner in accordance with section 5 of this procedure.

6.5 Refusal or failure to provide a urine sample

Refer CSA s 43(4); Corrective Services Regulation 2006 (CSR), s 6(s)

Refer section 2 Definitions to obtain agency definition of “reasonable excuse”

A prisoner who does not provide a sample of urine when directed to do so without reasonable excuse must be managed as a failure to supply.

The prisoner must be advised that the failure to supply a sample will result in being deemed to have given a positive test sample resulting in an incident report being raised and sent to the Commissioner, Queensland Police (refer CSA s114 (1)).

The facility must generate an incident report under the category Drugs - Fail Test reflecting the refusal and annotate the prisoner's refusal to supply on administrative form -Drug Test (Custodial). If the result is for a random test, the failure to supply must also be recorded on the Random Testing for Statistical Collection form next to the prisoner's details and forwarded to Operational Support Services Directorate.

If a prisoner claims to be unable to produce a sample without reasonable excuse, the prisoner may be permitted to drink no more than 500ml of water and then given one hour to provide a sample. Refer procedure - Drug Screening. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the prisoner must be directed that he/she must not depart until a sample is provided.

If a sample is not provided after a reasonable time, the general manager must be advised and unless reasonable excuse is provided, the prisoner is deemed to have supplied a positive test result (failure to supply). Refer CSA s 43(4).

The facility must generate an incident report under the category Drugs - Fail Test reflecting the failure to comply and annotate the prisoner's refusal to supply on administrative form - Drug Test (Custodial). The description field of the incident report must indicate that the positive was a result of either “Random urinalysis testing” or “Targeted urinalysis testing”. Refer procedure -Incident Reporting.

If any portion of a sample (regardless of the amount) is obtained prior to the refusal, such sample must be retained and any test results recorded, pending further action. If the amount is below the minimum fill level and therefore an instant test result unable to achieved, the sample must be forwarded to the laboratory for both screening and confirmatory analysis.

If a prisoner fails to cooperate with the urine testing process without reasonable excuse, the process must cease immediately. This must be deemed a failure to supply. Examples of failure to supply may include when the prisoner-

  1. fails to attend urine testing as directed without reasonable excuse;
  2. refuses to provide a sample;
  3. leaves the testing area without permission prior to providing the sample; and
  4. fails to hand the sample with the lid secure on the split sample test cup to the officer.

If a prisoner fails to cooperate with urine testing processes the general manager must be advised.

7.0 Waste

7.1 Spills

In the event of a spill, an officer must-

  1. use absorbent material (for example, an underpad) to contain and remove the bulk of the spill;
  2. wipe the spill site with disposable towels in disinfectant solution, for example, Isowipes; and
  3. place all contaminated materials in an appropriate clinical waste disposal unit or biohazard bag/bin.

Refer procedure -Needle-Stick/Blood and Body Fluids Exposure.

7.2 Sample Disposal

All waste is to be disposed of in a biohazard bag and bin.

The collecting officer-

  1. must dispose of the split sample test cup if the prisoner is unable to supply a sample or the sample is negative;
  2. must clean any work area used, disposing of (or cleaning as appropriate) all equipment and disposing of gloves used, utilising the clinical waste disposal container or biohazard bag/bin for all disposals; and
  3. must thoroughly wash his/her hands after handling samples and test equipment.

8. Initial results

8.1 Random Testing

Initial results for individual prisoners obtained from the random instant testing must be forwarded to Operational Support Services Directorate for statewide collation on the Random Testing for Statistical Collection form next to the prisoner's details. If the sample has been sent to the laboratory for confirmatory testing, this needs to be indicated against the prisoner's name on the same form. Further, if testing is not conducted on a prisoner (due to discharge, transfer, etc), then this is to be noted on the same form prior to sending to Operational Support Services Directorate.

A written record of all test results (e.g. Drug Test (Custodial) form) instant, presumptive and/or confirmatory test must be placed on the prisoner's file. A copy of test results must also be recorded on IOMS using the “Drug Test History” section of the prisoner's file.

8.2 Targeted Testing

A written record of all test results (eg Drug Test (Custodial) form) instant, presumptive and/or confirmatory test must be placed on the prisoner's file. A copy of test results must also be recorded on IOMS using the “Drug Test History” section of the offender's file.

9. Forwarding samples to the laboratory (QHFSS)

If an illicit substance has been detected during presumptive testing or it appears a sample may have been adulterated, a confirmatory test must be conducted.

Facilities must forward relevant samples (i.e. presumptive positive results and samples suspected of adulteration) to Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services (QHFSS) to undergo further confirmatory testing.

The positive samples and suspected adulterated samples must be placed in a transportation pack with an absorbent material underneath the samples. Officers must ensure the lid of the split sample test cup is undamaged and firmly secured using tamper-proof evidence tape prior to being placed in the transportation pack. The transport container must be sealed using security seals.

Samples from male and female, secure and open custody must be sent in separate labelled containers. Likewise, targeted and random samples must be sent to the laboratory in separate, labelled containers.

Positive or suspected adulterated samples must be delivered to QHFSS for analysis within 72 hours, if practicable. The positive and suspected adulterated samples must be refrigerated until transported to a laboratory for analysis. Refer appendix - Freight of Urine Samples

If positive or suspected adulterated samples are to be sent by an air carrier, the sample must be packed in accordance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines. It is highly desirable that officers packing samples for air transportation have satisfactorily completed the IATA course for Shippers of Infectious Substances.

The only paperwork required to be forwarded with the positive or suspected adulterated samples to QHFSS are administrative forms - Urine Toxicology Service Request - Random Testing or Urine Toxicology Service Request - Targeted Testing and Chain of Custody. These forms must accompany each transportation pack and relate only to those samples contained in the transportation pack.

To complete the Urine Toxicology Service Request forms, the following needs to be considered:

for positive samples, only tick the confirmation boxes in column two for the drug types for which a positive result was indicated on the split sample test cup;

for suspected adulterated samples, tick all the immunoassay boxes in column one and the “Confirm/quantitate all positive results” box in column two;

for fail to supply samples who have provided a portion of a sample, tick all the immunoassay boxes in column one and the “Confirm/quantitate all results;

for quality assurance requests, tick all the immunoassay boxes in column one and the “Confirm/quantitate all positive results”; and

in some cases where there may be suspicion of other drug use, tick “General Drug Screen” in column two.

Samples must be identified using barcode labels which must contain the prisoner's name and identification number. Barcode labels are printed in sets of four. One set of barcodes must be allocated for each prisoner who provides a sample. One of the four barcodes (within the set) must be placed-

  1. on the specimen jar;
  2. on the administrative form - Drug Test (Custodial);
  3. on the administrative form - Chain of Custody; and
  4. on the administrative form - Urine Toxicology Service Request - Random or Urine Toxicology Service Request - Targeted.

Correctional Centres are responsible for maintaining their own supply of barcode labels from a supplier authorised by QHFSS. Refer to Appendix - Direction on Ordering Consumables for Substance Testing.

After obtaining a sample, the officer must complete the applicable entries in the administrative form - Drug Test (Custodial). The officer must sign the form advising the test was conducted in accordance with approved procedures to the satisfaction of the officer. At the completion of testing, the facility is to retain administrative form - Drug Test (Custodial).

10. Confirmatory tests

If the split sample test cup indicates a positive result to a prohibited substance or if it is suspected the sample has been adulterated, the sample must be forwarded to QHFSS for analysis.

Positive results (as advised by QHFSS) for random testing are centrally correlated by Operational Support Services Directorate. Once all confirmatory results are received and collated, results are forwarded to the general manager of the relevant facilities. Positive results for targeted testing are forwarded to the centre.

A prisoner whose confirmatory test result is positive must be notified of the result. This may include providing a copy of the laboratory result.

On receiving a confirmatory test result, the facility must consult with Queensland Health centre staff to determine if the prisoner may have received authorised medication that may result in a positive indication for the drug type prior to providing the sample. If the prisoner was provided authorised medication, Queensland Health centre staff must sign and date a copy of the confirmatory test results to be retained by the facility. Advice, from local Offender Health Services staff only, must be provided to the Operational Support Services Directorate that a prescribed drug was the reason for the positive result. If a prisoner has received authorised medication, a copy of the result must be placed on the prisoner's file noting the test is void due to the prisoner being on medication, and no action is to be taken against the prisoner. Furthermore, the positive result must not be included in the results for the facility.

If the prisoner was not on authorised medication, consideration should be given to the prisoner's time in custody and the average retention period of the detected substance(s). If the prisoner has been in custody less than the average retention period, a copy of the result must be placed on his/her file and no further action is to occur. Refer appendices - Drug Test Cut-off Levels; Average Drug Retention Periods.

If the prisoner has been in custody longer than the retention period and he/she was not on authorised medication, an incident report must be generated under the category of Drugs - Fail Test/Under the Influence and the matter must be referred to the Corrective Services Investigation Unit for determination. Refer CSA s 114; procedures - Incident Reporting; and Breaches of Discipline.

The laboratory certificate of the presumptive results and, if relevant, certificate of confirmation test results must also be placed on file. In addition, all test results must be recorded on IOMS.

If a prisoner has been relocated (to another facility or Probation and Parole office), it is the responsibility of the facility where the sample was obtained to promptly forward the results as appropriate.

11. Taking a breath sample

The alcometer must be regularly checked and recalibrated at manufacturer recommended intervals. Hand-held two-way radios may interfere with the reading and must not be used while testing is being conducted.

Approval of the General Manager must be obtained before a breath sample is collected. Two officers must be present to conduct breath testing and officers collecting a sample of breath must have completed the relevant training. However, at work camp sites only where there is only one supervisor present, it is permissible for only one officer to conduct the breath test.

Before conducting the test, the prisoner is asked if he/she has any reason to believe the test will give a positive reading. The prisoner response is noted in the appropriate column of the “Drug Test Register”. Prior to submitting to the breath test, the prisoner should observe:

  1. the seal of a mouthpiece being opened; and
  2. the alcometer displaying a 0.00 reading.

Substances, including mouthwash and vinegar, may return a positive reading. If a prisoner has consumed such a substance, it may contribute towards a higher reading, which should reduce significantly over a 20 minute period. If a prisoner registers a reading and claims to have had a substance other than alcohol in their mouth, the General Manager is contacted for advice as to the action to be taken.

If refusing without reasonable excuse to supply a breath, the prisoner is advised that failure to provide a sample may result in the prisoner being deemed to have given a positive test sample and subject to related consequences.

If no sample is provided after a reasonable time, the general manager should be contacted for a decision on appropriate action.

In the event of a positive result to a breath test, the General Manager determines appropriate follow up action. Generally a second confirmatory should be conducted no sooner than 20 minutes after the initial test. In general, if a prisoner tests positive to alcohol consumption, a second test to confirm the reading should be conducted in the presence of a second officer. (This does not include work camps if there is only one supervisor present).

In every instance that a prisoner is directed to supply a sample of breath, the test and results must be recorded on the administrative form - Drug Testing Register. If the result is positive, the administrative form - Drug Test (Custodial) must also be completed and placed on the prisoner's file. The results are to be entered on IOMS under the “Drug Test History” section of the prisoner's electronic file.

The alcometer is to be stored in a secure place that is free of alcohol wipes, cleaning preparation, or any substance that contains alcohol.





Kelvin Anderson
Commissioner





Version History

23/06/2010 Version 01