Due Date: 
Friday, 1 January 2021
Submitting to: 
NZ Parliament
Issue Area: 
Alcohol and other Drugs

The Transport and Infrastructure Committee is calling for submissions on the Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill.

The bill would establish a new random roadside oral fluid testing regime. The regime would sit alongside the existing compulsory impairment test (CIT) approach to drug driving. Under the bill, a police officer would be able to stop any driver of a motor vehicle and administer an oral fluid test without cause to suspect a driver has consumed drugs. This is consistent with the existing approach to drink driving enforcement.

A driver who fails the first oral fluid test will be tested again to avoid the risk of incorrectly penalising drivers. A driver who fails two consecutive oral fluid tests would incur an infringement penalty. They would also have the option to undertake an evidential blood test.

The bill provides for different offences and penalties (infringement and criminal) for drivers who fail these tests. The offences and penalties depend on the testing process and the quantity of drugs found in a driver’s system. There is a medical defence available in certain circumstances.

There would be cut-off thresholds set in the oral fluid devices, although these are not specified in the bill. The thresholds would avoid the risk of penalising drivers who have accidental or passive exposure to drugs, have low residual levels of a drug, or consumed doses of some medicines that are unlikely to impair driving.

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Please note that the closing date for this submission will be determined by a later date

 

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