16 Nov 2013

AA wants random drug-driver tests

3:07 pm on 16 November 2013

The Automobile Association wants to see the introduction of random tests for people driving under the influence of drugs, saying the current test is not working.

Police have been able to test for drugs since 2009 but as of March this year had only carried out 906 tests.

The AA says currently, drivers are not tested unless they exhibit signs of being impaired.

Motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon says New Zealand is behind the likes of Australia where police already have the ability to carry out random checks using a saliva test.

Mr Noon says the fact 90% of the 906 people the police have tested proved positive for drugs shows they are only uncovering the tip of the iceberg.

He says while the saliva test used in Australia only takes a short amount of time, it is expensive, and he fears the $30 cost may be preventing the Government from introducing it.