Zero drugs; plenty of alcohol

It’s always struck me as a bit odd, the disparity between the NZ drug driving law and the drink driving law. My non-lawyer’s view is that drug driving law stipulates that a person is guilty of the office if their blood contains evidence of a qualifying drug.  This means that if even a small amount …

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Drug-driving and dribble

“Why haven’t we got a testing device that can screen breath samples for drugs in the same way we can test for alcohol?”  As an alcohol/drink-driving calculation expert I get asked this question quite a lot.  The assumption is made that because we can test for alcohol in breath then it must be just as …

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Drugs, driving and saliva

After a brief airing on RadioLive this morning to talk about a recent press release regarding drug/drink driving statistics, I thought it pertinent to add a little something to clarify what I was saying (three minutes is not a long time to say what you need to say on an issue as big as this!). …

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Meth driving

How hard is it for a Police officer to determine whether a driver might be off their trolley because of methamphetamine abuse?  Some might say that if you see it often enough, you recognise the signs. How hard is it for a forensic toxicologist to reconcile different driving behaviours as being attributable to meth use?  …

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Don't accept the forensic science at face value

Here in NZ the Police are now stopping people who they suspect may be driving whilst impaired through the use of drugs. I’ve written before about drug driving and the impairment tests and I again reiterate the importance of not accepting the blood sample analytical results at face value, particularly in relation to cannabis. Lawyers …

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Roadside drug testing; drug driving

One of my earlier posts commented on drug driving, the recent law changes in New Zealand and the new ad campaign in England & Wales.  The answer that everyone would like (apart from the people who actually take the drugs) is a roadside device that can screen, say, saliva for the presence of drugs – …

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Drug driving and impairment testing

Drug driving is illegal in many countries including New Zealand and the UK.  New Zealand has recently (June 2009) changed the law in order to increase the rate of successful prosecutions .  These changes, which come into force in December 2009, include giving the Police the power to conduct roadside impairment tests.  Such tests were …

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