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Govt Adopts Labour's Amendments To Bill, Mallard Says

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Trevor Mallard
Trevor Mallard

Wellington, June 18 NZPA - The Government has agreed to adopt Labour Party amendments to a bill that will give police greater powers to deal with drug impaired drivers, opposition MP Trevor Mallard said tonight.

The Land Transport Amendment Bill is a government bill drafted to allow police to test drivers for drugs.

It is being debated by Parliament and Mr Mallard said his amendments would ensure that blood samples taken for evidence could be tested for Class A drugs and the results used as grounds for a prosecution.

"The current law, and bill, only allowed for testing of Class A drugs if a driver displays impairment in front of a police officer," he said.

"This leads to the ridiculous situation whereby if a driver is injured in an accident they cannot be tested for Class A drugs in the same way they would be for alcohol."

Mr Mallard said it was not clear under the bill's provisions whether the police had the power to seek a drug test even if the driver showed signs of impairment.

"The amendment seeks to address this by ensuring that police have the power to seek a blood sample and have it tested for illegal drugs regardless of whether a person has failed an alcohol test," he said.

"These are commonsense amendments that will give police greater powers to get unsafe drivers off New Zealand's roads."

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