Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres today announced that tougher laws to prosecute drug and alcohol impaired drivers had passed the NSW Parliament.
Minister Gay said the laws will deliver important changes that will reduce the options by which some dangerous drivers avoid detection and prosecution.
“This is a sensible and common sense reform to make sure police have the necessary ability to gather evidence and prosecute drivers in ambiguous drug and alcohol testing situations,” Minister Gay said.
“Sadly, drivers are sometimes so intoxicated that they are physically unable to complete a police breath test. These changes will now allow police to arrange for blood samples to be taken to determine blood alcohol concentration.
“Other key changes include streamlining the urine sample handling process and changes to match modern laboratory processes to improve evidential accuracy of drink and drug driving offences.
“We are constantly looking at new ways to ensure our drug and alcohol testing is robust and effective to remove this dangerous behaviour from our roads and help save the lives of innocent motorists,” Minister Gay said.
Minister Ayres said the laws include an important change to reinforce police powers to ensure drivers remain on site until testing is complete.
“It is critical that police have the ability to ensure a driver stays at or near the place of testing until the random drug testing process is complete – meaning drivers can’t drive away until their samples have come back clear,” Minister Ayres said.
“Another important change is the ability for police to now require a driver to submit to a sobriety assessment if their behaviour, condition or appearance causes a police officer to believe that a driver is under the influence of a drug but a random breath test is negative for alcohol.
“This is a big win for on road safety and reflects the Government’s strong commitment to reducing drink and drug driving-related road trauma,” Minister Ayres said.