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AA Membership endorses roadside drug tests

New Zealand Media Release
10 May 2004

AA Membership endorses roadside drug tests

Police targeting of drivers affected by illicit drugs is endorsed by motorists, a just-released survey by the Automobile Association shows. More than 85% supported Police using roadside tests at alcohol checkpoints to determine those driving under the influence of drugs, with the survey having a similar response for either a saliva based test or a coordination test.

Further, the survey results showed that motorists did not confine their support of Police using tests on drivers to those who were affected by solely illegal substances. The Police can currently order a person to stop driving temporarily if the driver is affected by medications or fatigue. Because being ‘unfit to drive’ is so subjective and open to debate, the Police seldom use this power. The survey showed 90% supported the Police being able to use the proposed roadside coordination tests to determine if a person is temporarily unfit to drive.

“There was a clear message that the public believe that if, for whatever reason, you are not fit to drive, the Police should have the ability to stop a person until they are in a fit state and able to be fully in control of the vehicle, said George Fairbairn AA Director of Public Affairs. Most people would rather be safe, than sorry.


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