Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

ESR supports calls for a saliva test for roadside drug tests

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) who conduct drug tests on blood samples for a range of government organisations is supporting the introduction of a roadside saliva (oral fluid) test for drug-impaired drivers.

ESR forensic toxicologist Helen Poulsen, was responding to the release by the government of a public consultation document on the issue of drug driver testing, following the number of road fatalities connected to drug use.

Dr Poulsen says while the currently available oral fluid tests are not as fast and as accurate as the roadside breath alcohol test, oral fluid is a still a good model for screening as long as it backed up by laboratory tests.

She says a number of different biological samples can be tested for the evidence of drug use, including oral fluid, however the presence of drugs does not necessarily mean that the person is impaired by the drug.

“Blood is the best sample for analysis, however taking a blood sample or urine sample at the roadside would be impractical and possibly considered by some to be too invasive.”

ESR does analysis on hospitalised drivers and impaired drivers. Between January 2014 and May 2018, ESR’s analysis of blood samples of impaired drivers submitted by Police showed nearly 60 percent had used cannabis and over 40 percent used methamphetamine.

Dr Poulsen adds that while alcohol, cannabis and methamphetamine are commonly used, and of concern in relation to road safety, there are many other drugs that could affect a person’s ability to drive safely.

“These drugs are not covered by currently available roadside saliva tests, this includes synthetic cannabinoids, which are the drugs linked to recent road fatalities.”


She says roadside testing for drugs is also much slower than alcohol testing, the number of drugs that can be tested is limited and the results are not ‘evidential’. Laboratory testing of oral fluid or blood is required to prove which drug is present.

Dr Poulsen says ESR is currently working with a New Zealand biotech company on developing a new saliva based test for drug impaired drivers, which can be used to rapidly detect specifically targeted drugs and cover a much broader range of drugs than the currently available tests.

The technology, developed by AuramerBio, uses synthetic DNA that is programmed to recognise specifically targeted drugs.

ESR currently carries out drug and alcohol tests on blood samples submitted by NZ Police, the Ministry of Justice and NZTA.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Lockdown, Masks And Aerosol Transmission

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>

 
 

Government: Seeking Infrastructure Projects


The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say...More>>

ALSO:


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>

ALSO:

Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>

ALSO:

SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels