Police nab 709 drug-drivers

Otago Daily Times 15 Oct 2012
More than 700 drivers have been caught for drug-driving since a new law came into effect. Figures released to the Otago Daily Times under the Official Information Act showed 575 motorists had been charged with drug-driving between the introduction of new legislation on November 1, 2009 and July this year. During the same period, a further 134 motorists were charged under older legislation. National Manager Road Policing Superintendent Carey Griffiths said numbers charged with drug-driving were far lower than for drink-driving. Police lacked a quick and accurate roadside test for drugs as was available for alcohol. Supt Griffiths said the intention of current legislation was to remove impaired drivers from the country’s roads, and police did not also test for drugs if a driver was found to be under the influence of alcohol. “The vast majority of impaired drivers are impaired by alcohol.” In November 2009 amendments to legislation allowed police to require a compulsory impairment test to be completed, and to take blood samples for drug analysis.