This is a bit of an experiment for me. I want to use cyberspace over the next 36 hours to get feedback on a couple of issues that involve civil liberties and lives.
For the last few months I’ve sat on a select committee working on a transport law reform bill that has two major strands driving while drug impaired and access to motor vehicle registration data. I’ve got two issues. And for the record the issues were in the bill as introduced by Labour and have not been fixed by the select committee where National holds the majority.
- If someone fails a breath test then all action related to driving while impaired with drugs ceases. The evidence the committee got made it very clear that using booze and other drugs together had a multiplicitive effect when it came to having accidents. In an extreme case an offender would get a lesser penalty by having a quick drink when stopped at a checkpoint while high on “P”. Doesn’t seem right to me. My view is that where someone is clearly more impaired than they should be with a given breath test reading then the Police should have the right to move down the drug testing route as well.
- When someone is hospitalised then blood taken can be used for a drink but not a drug drive charge. In my opinion anyone who has active class A drugs in their system should be prosecuted – even if they have had an accident where they have been hospitalised.
I want to talk to colleagues about this on Tuesday – tell me what you think.