Transport Minister Steven Joyce has made the introduction of drug tests for drivers his “top priority”.
A bill, which would give police the power to stop and make drivers have a roadside test for drug impairment, is before Parliament’s select committee.
Drafted by the previous Labour Government, the bill failed to get through the select committee stage in 2007.
Mr Joyce has now put the bill forward again and believes it will be passed by the middle of the year.
It certainly is a serious problem:
An ESR study between 2004 and 2008 found 52 per cent of drivers that died in accidents were under the influence or alcohol or drugs.
What I don’t know if how any testing will determine if the drug use was recent (ie is currently impairing the driver) or historical. Off memory cannabis can remain in your bloodstream for weeks or longer.