New Drug Laws Catch 101 Drivers


101 drivers have already been charged under recently introduced laws to catch people driving while on drugs.

The laws came into effect on November 1.  Under the law, a Police officer who suspects a driver of being impaired can require the driver to carry out a Compulsory Impairment Test. A driver who fails this test is required to provide a blood specimen.

Police have carried out 177 impairment tests. So far 135 drivers have had blood tests showing evidence of drugs.

There may be further positive tests as not all blood samples taken up until 20 May have been tested. An additional 17 samples were taken from injured drivers under a separate provision of the law which allows them to be tested for Class A drugs.

Six of these drivers tested positive for methamphetamine and have been charged.

In total, 101 drivers have been charged under the new laws, 46 of whom had been convicted while 55 are yet to appear in court.

Transport minister Steven Joyce says that  the fact that the majority of drivers who fail the impairment test have drugs in their bloodstream shows the law is working as it was intended.

“Drivers impaired by drugs put themselves and other road users at risk.”





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