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#261862 18-Dec-2019 19:13
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Just received:

 

 

Police will be given new powers to conduct random roadside oral fluid drug testing to deter, detect and prosecute drugged drivers in order to save lives, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today.  

 

 “Last year 95 people were killed in preventable crashes where the driver was found to have drugs in their system that could impair driving. That is an enormous and intolerable loss of life,” said Julie Anne Genter.

 

 “The new powers will send a clear message that if you take drugs and drive, you will be caught.

 

 “The change will allow Police to test drivers for the presence of drugs and impairing medication anywhere, any time, just as they can for alcohol.

 

 “Drivers who test positive for the presence of drugs will be fined and immediately suspended from driving for a minimum of 12 hours.

 

 “Drivers will also face criminal penalties if they fail a compulsory impairment test and blood tests confirm impairing levels of drugs in their system.

 

 “The threshold for a criminal offence will be aligned with that for alcohol. This means a blood test that identifies impairing medication or drugs at or above an amount equivalent to the criminal drink driving limit (80mg of alcohol to 100ml of blood) will result in a criminal offence.

 

 “The oral fluid devices will initially test for THC, methamphetamine, opiates, cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), and benzodiazepines which are the most prevalent and high risk drugs and medications used by drivers in New Zealand. Police will continue to use the compulsory impairment test to screen for other impairing drugs.

 

 “Oral fluid tests will check for some impairing prescription drugs. However, a medical defence will be available in instances where people have taken medication in accordance with their prescription. The government will work with health practitioners to ensure patients are appropriately warned if they should not be driving on their prescription.

 

“I intend to introduce a Bill to the Parliament early next year to enable oral fluid drug testing to begin in 2021,” says Julie Anne Genter.

 





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  #2378050 18-Dec-2019 21:16
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I really don't agree.

 

Would much rather see police enforce existing laws like red lights, stop signs, mobile phone use. 

 

From January 2019 - Impatient" Christchurch motorists are running more than five red lights a minute, contributing to a quarter of all crashes in the city.

 

And yet instead of enacting any form of meaningful enforcement like red light cameras, they would rather waste their money on this?

 

It's pandering to the hnd-wringing "What about the childdddren??" crowd. Purely a beneficial political decision which is sickening.

 

 


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  #2378112 19-Dec-2019 00:19
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Personally from november to april I look pretty glazed with hayfever and conjunctivitis, and my nose is a bit sniffy which would make a cop think ive been doing lines or smoking pot. So I am not interested in having my time wasted on the side of the road while I wait for a litmus test to tell the officer i am clean. 

 

So I am having a think about this one. I think it might involve a bag of sesame seeds. 
The accuracy of the strips probably also needs to be called into question. Thats probably pretty easy with an official information request asking for the make/brand of test strips and asking for copies of research police have done to validate the accuracy, then going out and buying some. 

 

 

 

I also love it when they quote the Misuse of Drugs Act to enter a property for the purpose of shutting down a party.

 

I just say "You are being denied permission to enter and we consider you a trespasser. After considering that neither I, nor you can physically see any drugs or paraphernalia, nor can we smell anything suspicious, and the only thing we can hear is music and sounds of people enjoying themselves in a private back yard, Please outline for the video your email address and what reasons you have to believe there are drugs or paraphernalia on the property. Entry will result in an immediate emergency call to 111 reporting an invasion unless you can provide a reasons for your believe that there are illegal drugs on the property"   

 

I have watched 3 officers stunned on the spot unable to provide an answer - with empty threats of returning later. Also have received one apology from a sergeant after being threatened with arrest as the constable pushed past me and the subsequent 111 call being made by about 5 people all at once. 

 

I like the police, i just dont like them using the misuse of drugs act as a standard line for entering a house or searching my car. 





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  #2378120 19-Dec-2019 00:58
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As a mental health professional I think this is long overdue. Moreso for the younger population to I might ad. They are more vulnerable to such drugs on their development.





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  #2378147 19-Dec-2019 08:17
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The initial screening will be the key, will we see roadside sobriety tests like they do in the US to then take testing to the next level? (are there any such tests for drugs?)

 

If they are going to legalize cannabis, then they have to have a method of enforcement against impaired drivers, but what are those limits? Does cannabis dissipate in your system over time or is it simply a present or not present test?

 

I am sure these are things that will likely come out in due process of a bill running through parliament, but can we be certain any Govt actually has the nouse to do a good job on the details?


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  #2378152 19-Dec-2019 08:33
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I sometimes wonder where this random stuff will end ? You have been selected randomly to have a police monitored webcam installed in your house, cos, you know, if if stops one domestic violence incident. You have been selected randomly for a full house search cos, you know, if it finds one meth grower...





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  #2378155 19-Dec-2019 08:36
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I'm in support of this.  But I am also concerned for myself, I take opoids fairly regularly so the exceptions will need to be clearly defined so I'm not having to choose between restricting my driving or being in pain.


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  #2378156 19-Dec-2019 08:38
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I don't have a problem with it, but I wonder how effective it will be.

 

Drug Driving is a real issue - I heard the AA on the radio this morning saying that a quarter of all road deaths this (or maybe last) year involved drug driving. That's a really scary stat, and being a statistic, I'm not sure how 'bent' it is for this narrative, but even if it is inflated, it's still too high.

 

 

 

My concern is the accuracy of the tests. I know THC can be in your body for quite some time, even though you aren't 'stoned' - will they pick up people that may have partaken 24-48 hours earlier?


 
 
 
 


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  #2378169 19-Dec-2019 08:46
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Another step closer to NZ becoming a police state.

 

I'm an adult and am quiet capable to know my limits on alcohol, <my happy stuff>, coffee, lack of sleep etc .....

 

What I enjoy in my spare time is my business, nobody else's. 


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  #2378175 19-Dec-2019 08:55
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Stashe:

 

Another step closer to NZ becoming a police state.

 

I'm an adult and am quiet capable to know my limits on alcohol, <my happy stuff>, coffee, lack of sleep etc .....

 

What I enjoy in my spare time is my business, nobody else's. 

 

 

That's fine - it won't affect you, because you are an adult, and you know that when you've had a drink, smoke etc., to not hop behind the wheel to go down the road for a feed. Not behind the wheel, and you won't be stopped.

 

Unfortunately, not everyone is as woke as you. We have laws to protect the rest of us from the ones that can't behave like responsible members of society.


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  #2378178 19-Dec-2019 08:59
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The Police already have the ability to arrest for drug driving. They can perform roadside impairment tests on people they suspect of being under the influence. It is more subjective, prone to error and more time consuming than the breath alcohol screening. But the law already is there to enforce it. Also it doesn't matter if you have a prescription if you are on medication that does impact your driving ability you can't drive while on it as it is a danger to the wider public.

 

We really need more information on the new screening tests as to what they look for and what the false positive/false negative error rate is. Do they catch people who have only just consumed or detect anything taken in the last 14 days? Will they detect if someone has swallowed a couple of oxycodone before getting behind the wheel?


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  #2378179 19-Dec-2019 09:00
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A lot of justifications for this kind of stuff sound perfectly reasonable, but its still people being monitored and tested at random without any suspicion of an offence being caused, and of course if you don't agree with whatever power the powers that be give themselves, you know who'll (probably) end up with the police record.





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  #2378181 19-Dec-2019 09:01
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So if you are stoned on drugs it is fine, as long as you have a prescription.  Sorry but that is ludicrous.





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  #2378210 19-Dec-2019 09:21
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How many more needless delays will this cause for drivers tho? Bad enough having to queue up for the breath screening, and if you decide to avoid the queue being pursued like you have broken some law or something.

 

 





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  #2378215 19-Dec-2019 09:24
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"The threshold for a criminal offence will be aligned with that for alcohol. This means a blood test that identifies impairing medication or drugs at or above an amount equivalent to the criminal drink driving limit (80mg of alcohol to 100ml of blood) will result in a criminal offence."

 

It'd be interesting to see the evidence they'll use to determine "equivalence" and to set levels - given that they're talking about making it a criminal offense with the consequence of conviction being an effective life-long sentence, then they'd better not be setting levels based on assumption.  

 

Accident-prone behaviour and impairment of ability aren't the same thing.  I'd expect someone using methamphetamine to possibly test ok on an impairment test, yet be a serious menace because they'd overestimate their own abilities, someone stoned on weed probably much less of a menace as they'll be far more aware of their own impairment and more likely to moderate their own driving behaviour in an attempt to compensate. 

 

I assume from absence of inclusion on the list of banned substances (because it's too hard to test), you'll still be legally in the clear when high on "'shrooms" or acid, so long as you can still walk a straight line.

 

I do wish they'd provide more detail on the "95 people were killed in preventable crashes where the driver was found to have drugs in their system that could impair driving", to clarify whether the impairment did in fact contribute to or cause the accident, and to identify the drugs or combination of drugs involved, and whether the drugs detected were illicit or prescription.  All crashes are preventable - and addressing the cause of the other 80% of fatal accidents where drivers weren't "impaired" should perhaps be more of a priority.  I'd be very surprised if 20% of adults tested randomly in NZ didn't test positive for some level of substance - prescription or not - that would be included on the list of prohibited substances.  


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  #2378216 19-Dec-2019 09:24
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Sure, we're all adults and we're all completely capable of policing ourselves.  That's why our roads are treacherous. 

 

My best mate is an AA driving instructor and runs defensive driving courses, etc.  He has some true horror stories EVERY DAY of people he has in his cars who are either going for a license and are nowhere near ready, or are on DD course with a license but are completely unsuited to being behind the wheel.  So yeah, we're all adults and self-determining, except those of us that aren't.  And it's the aren'ts that are the problem.


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