Radio NZ News 8 September 2020
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The legislation has passed its first reading and is before select committee and will let the police do random roadside drug testing “without any good cause” – similar to drink-driving checkpoints.
It will cover commonly-used drugs such as cannabis, methamphetamine, MDMA, opiates and downers.
Lawyer Marie Taylor-Cyphers said she was disturbed by elements of the legislation and the National Party has labelled it “botched” and “half baked”.
Taylor-Cyphers said the test was incredibly coercive and often wrong.
“Most of New Zealand would expect to be able to go out on the road and not be invasively searched inside their body.
“You can’t have a test that takes 40 minutes and fails one in 20 times, that is just not sufficient for us to have evidence that might lead to criminal convictions.”
Taylor-Cyphers said getting a positive test potentially opens people up to drug prosecutions.
“That to me seems extraordinary because usually the police would have to have good cause and of course after you’ve returned those positive tests they will have good cause.
“That alters rights quite drastically.”
A report by Attorney-General David Parker says the legislation contravenes the Bill of Rights: not to be subject to unreasonable search and seizure; to be arbitrarily detained; and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The report also raises serious concerns that parts of the legislation are too vague.
READ MORE: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/425502/attorney-general-s-report-says-proposed-drug-driving-laws-will-contravene-bill-of-rights