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81 posts

Master Geek


# 250653 20-May-2019 15:54
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Petition of Karen Dow - Matthew's Petition seeking urgent introduction of random roadside drug testing

 

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/document/PET_82698/petition-of-karen-dow-matthews-petition-seeking-urgent

 

 

 

 

 

wasn't sure if this or Transport was the better forum for this.

 

 

 

1 day left on this petition.


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355 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2241692 20-May-2019 16:42
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I cannot workout why this isnt a priority for this coalition. I am saddened that it will take a petition to kick it into gear.


8932 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2242286 21-May-2019 12:24
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I think the reason for it (roadside drug testing) not being rushed through, is that it's not simple:

 

With alcohol, then there's a good correlation between breath tests that can be carried out instantly by a policeman, and blood alcohol samples that need to be carried out by medically trained staff and analysed in a lab.  Then there's a tonne of research available on correlation between blood alcohol and impairment.

 

There may be simple (saliva or urine) tests which might be able to detect presence of a drug (or metabolites of a drug), but probably not what the levels are - and in any case at what some arbitrary "level of impairment" should be set.  Lots of different "recreational" drugs are used, for some, false positives will be a problem for users of prescription medicine.

 

You'd probably find that someone tripping on LSD would pass any roadside test, someone who smoked a joint a week before may fail.

 

I guess the problem creating the knee-jerk demand for roadside testing is methamphetamine.  While that drug's certainly a problem "on the road" - it's an even more massive problem in NZ "off the road".  It needs to be dealt with as such - reduce the rates of misuse of methamphetamine everywhere - and road safety will be improved.


 
 
 
 


1013 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2242314 21-May-2019 13:01
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Fred99:

 

I think the reason for it (roadside drug testing) not being rushed through, is that it's not simple:

 

With alcohol, then there's a good correlation between breath tests that can be carried out instantly by a policeman, and blood alcohol samples that need to be carried out by medically trained staff and analysed in a lab.  Then there's a tonne of research available on correlation between blood alcohol and impairment.

 

There may be simple (saliva or urine) tests which might be able to detect presence of a drug (or metabolites of a drug), but probably not what the levels are - and in any case at what some arbitrary "level of impairment" should be set.  Lots of different "recreational" drugs are used, for some, false positives will be a problem for users of prescription medicine.

 

You'd probably find that someone tripping on LSD would pass any roadside test, someone who smoked a joint a week before may fail.

 

I guess the problem creating the knee-jerk demand for roadside testing is methamphetamine.  While that drug's certainly a problem "on the road" - it's an even more massive problem in NZ "off the road".  It needs to be dealt with as such - reduce the rates of misuse of methamphetamine everywhere - and road safety will be improved.

 

 

 

 

Aussie's been doing saliva roadside tests for awhile now. It only detects THC, Meth and MDMA - can't be too hard to implement it here. If you fail the test, you then have to give a oral fluid or blood sample to determine the levels and you can't drive for 24hrs after the positive saliva test.

 

Seems pretty simple to me.


355 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2242318 21-May-2019 13:08
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Fred99:

 

I think the reason for it (roadside drug testing) not being rushed through, is that it's not simple:

 

With alcohol, then there's a good correlation between breath tests that can be carried out instantly by a policeman, and blood alcohol samples that need to be carried out by medically trained staff and analysed in a lab.  Then there's a tonne of research available on correlation between blood alcohol and impairment.

 

There may be simple (saliva or urine) tests which might be able to detect presence of a drug (or metabolites of a drug), but probably not what the levels are - and in any case at what some arbitrary "level of impairment" should be set.  Lots of different "recreational" drugs are used, for some, false positives will be a problem for users of prescription medicine.

 

You'd probably find that someone tripping on LSD would pass any roadside test, someone who smoked a joint a week before may fail.

 

I guess the problem creating the knee-jerk demand for roadside testing is methamphetamine.  While that drug's certainly a problem "on the road" - it's an even more massive problem in NZ "off the road".  It needs to be dealt with as such - reduce the rates of misuse of methamphetamine everywhere - and road safety will be improved.

 

 

They cannot deal with NZ's increasing drug problem as the war has been well and truly lost. If your argument is to not test driver for drug impairment and focus on NZ's drug problem....good luck waiting. We really need to look at other countries such as Portugal for solutions. 


8932 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2242370 21-May-2019 14:56
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clevedon:

 

Aussie's been doing saliva roadside tests for awhile now. It only detects THC, Meth and MDMA - can't be too hard to implement it here. If you fail the test, you then have to give a oral fluid or blood sample to determine the levels and you can't drive for 24hrs after the positive saliva test.

 

Seems pretty simple to me.

 

 

I'm sure it seems simple to most people - but that doesn't mean it is.

 

In Queensland, you could be stopped, random-tested, and jailed for testing positive to THC.

 

According to some studies, the risk of driving under the influence of THC is double (BMJ) and others (PDF) show nil correlation.  Compare alcohol - chart below:

 

 

So only a couple of drinks makes you as dangerous on the road as pessimistic studies show being quite "stoned" on cannabis.

 

I don't think random drug testing is justified, unless it's specifically testing for drugs known to correlate to serious road safety issues.  As it is implemented in Aus, it just appears to be further extension of the colossal failure of the "war on drugs".

 

Methamphetamine, then maybe, I'd expect it to be really bad for driving safety.  But there's a paradox here too - individuals withdrawing from methamphetamine show fatigue, hypersomnnolence, and depression, they're probably extremely risky on the road, yet they'll pass a test.

 

 


1013 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2242416 21-May-2019 15:12
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Fred99:

 

clevedon:

 

Aussie's been doing saliva roadside tests for awhile now. It only detects THC, Meth and MDMA - can't be too hard to implement it here. If you fail the test, you then have to give a oral fluid or blood sample to determine the levels and you can't drive for 24hrs after the positive saliva test.

 

Seems pretty simple to me.

 

 

I'm sure it seems simple to most people - but that doesn't mean it is.

 

In Queensland, you could be stopped, random-tested, and jailed for testing positive to THC.

 

According to some studies, the risk of driving under the influence of THC is double (BMJ) and others (PDF) show nil correlation.  Compare alcohol - chart below:

 

 

So only a couple of drinks makes you as dangerous on the road as pessimistic studies show being quite "stoned" on cannabis.

 

I don't think random drug testing is justified, unless it's specifically testing for drugs known to correlate to serious road safety issues.  As it is implemented in Aus, it just appears to be further extension of the colossal failure of the "war on drugs".

 

Methamphetamine, then maybe, I'd expect it to be really bad for driving safety.  But there's a paradox here too - individuals withdrawing from methamphetamine show fatigue, hypersomnnolence, and depression, they're probably extremely risky on the road, yet they'll pass a test.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So by not having roadside saliva tests for drugs is going to make the roads safer then?

 

You can have all the studies in the world but out here in the real world, if you're impaired in any way by any mind altering substances and driving - you're dangerous being on the same road as me.

 

What you do in the privacy of your own home is of no interest to me.

 

Get the drunks/druggies off the road is my preference.


Lock him up!
10960 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2242423 21-May-2019 15:39
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Fred99:

 

Methamphetamine, then maybe, I'd expect it to be really bad for driving safety.  But there's a paradox here too - individuals withdrawing from methamphetamine show fatigue, hypersomnnolence, and depression, they're probably extremely risky on the road, yet they'll pass a test.

 

 

Individuals just starting out on meth, before it has burned a hole in their brain, will be more alert, have quicker reactions, and arguably be better drivers. Of course they will also feel invincible and may be just a tad irritated at how slow everyone else is going.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


 
 
 
 


8932 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2242467 21-May-2019 16:50
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clevedon:

 

You can have all the studies in the world but out here in the real world, if you're impaired in any way by any mind altering substances and driving - you're dangerous being on the same road as me.

 

 

So if the studies show that there's no risk, or minimal risk, you'd be happy to see draconian legislation anyway...  Perhaps "to save people from driving over the edge of the earth" could be included, as in the "real" (no evidence needed) world, some people think that could happen.

 

 


1013 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2242475 21-May-2019 17:03
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Fred99:

 

clevedon:

 

You can have all the studies in the world but out here in the real world, if you're impaired in any way by any mind altering substances and driving - you're dangerous being on the same road as me.

 

 

So if the studies show that there's no risk, or minimal risk, you'd be happy to see draconian legislation anyway...  Perhaps "to save people from driving over the edge of the earth" could be included, as in the "real" (no evidence needed) world, some people think that could happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, whatever.

 

I'm over bleeding heart liberals.

 

 


8932 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2242505 21-May-2019 17:26
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clevedon:

 

Yeah, whatever.

 

I'm over bleeding heart liberals.

 

 

LOL. Most anti-liberals change their spots when they're being targeted by draconian legislation. 

 

 


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