Alcohol testing for local government councillors should be encouraged above testing for illicit substances, the state's peak drug body says.
Two City of Hobart councillors have foreshadowed a motion before a committee meeting next month on random drug and alcohol testing for elected members.
The rationale behind the motion is that all employed council members are already subject to the testing regime.
Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Council policy manager Jackie Hallam said any testing should begin with alcohol as it would give clearer signs of impairment when decisions were made at council meetings.
Illicit drugs, however, would be less likely to give a clearer indication of impairment, she said.
Dr Hallam said drug testing could pick up cannabis in a person's system up to 30 days after it was used and amphetamines 48 hours after use.
She said drug testing could be a costly exercise so there needed to be sufficient reasoning as to why elected members should be tested.
"We really want to see this as a health issue and the purpose and outcomes for drug testing to be considered," Dr Hallam said.
Labor justice spokeswoman Ella Haddad said she had concerns the proposal from councillors Jeff Briscoe and Tayna Denison diverged from traditional drug-testing methods.
Under their proposal, councillors who tested positive would be publicly named and shamed.
"My concerns about that is that it is not treating alcohol and drug use as a health issue," Ms Haddad said.
"Other workplaces that do have compulsory drug and alcohol testing do treat it as a health issue and not as a punitive one."
Attorney-General Elise Archer said she personally would not object to state parliamentarians being subjected to a testing requirement.
The West Tamar Council introduced a voluntary drug and alcohol testing program for its elected members 12 months ago.
Mayor Christina Holmdahl said councillors agreed to the proposition from the council's management as they thought it was appropriate to be subject to the same testing measures as employed council officers.
She said councillors did have the option to refuse a test unlike council workers.