Friday, July 19, 2024

New rules for roadside drug testing

The Government has announced changes to roadside drug testing rules to ensure Police have the right tools to get dangerous drug-impaired drivers off the road.

Police and Justice Minister, Ginny Andersen said the Government is committed to keeping New Zealand roads safe.

“And that’s why we’ve agreed to make amendments to the roadside testing regime to ensure Police have the resources they need to keep the public safe.”

“Police can already conduct compulsory impairment tests on drivers they have good cause to suspect have used drugs,” she said.

Under the new testing regime, positive saliva tests will be sent to the lab for evidential testing before an infringement notice is issued. Drivers who have two positive screening tests will be banned from driving for 12 hours.

“The introduction of roadside screening tests is a sensible, practical move that will detect qualifying drugs and help remove impaired drivers from behind the wheel,” said Minister Andersen.

“Each year Police send around 500 blood samples to the lab following roadside compulsory impairment tests. Roadside screening tests will complement that existing process and will mean that Police will be able to drug test more drivers.

“Even though roadside testing wasn’t rolled out in March, since then Police have had new powers to deter impaired driving on our roads, including new criminal and infringement offences that aligned with the risk that impaired driving poses.”

The amendments will also see the introduction of a new offence for people who refuse an oral fluid screening test, punishable by an infringement fee of $400 and 75 demerit points.

“Road safety is a priority, and we are committed to reducing the devastating harm we see on our roads,” said Minister Andersen.

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