New Zealand Law Society - Public consultation on drug driver testing

Public consultation on drug driver testing

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There will be public consultation on options to improve the drug driver testing process. The Government has released a consultation document and the consultation will end on 28 June.

The consultation is looking for feedback on:

  • the methods that could be used to screen and test for drugs;
  • the circumstances in which a driver should be tested;
  • what drugs should be tested for;
  • how an offence for drug driving should be dealt with by Police.

“While drug drivers already face serious criminal penalties if caught, the current law makes it hard for Police to carry out higher numbers of tests that could deter drug driving," Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter says.

“And unlike with alcohol testing, drug testing comes with some unique challenges, which is why we want expert and public input into the design process.   For example, unlike alcohol breath tests, drug tests can only detect the presence of drugs or medication. They cannot test if a driver is impaired. 

“We know the public wants to be involved in the development of legislation that will impact them. Consultation will ensure changes to the current system incorporate the needs and wishes of New Zealanders."

Ms Genter says a considered approach to developing enhanced drug driver testing will mean development of a robust testing system that is grounded in evidence and best practice.

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