The policy of West Australian police to not test drink drivers for drugs needs to be changed, and that the WA Government should create a specific “combined impairment” charge for those who drive under the influence of both drugs and alcohol, according to a group of road safety researchers.
‘Good proportion’ of drink drivers could be drug users too
In an article for The West Australian, Tayissa Barone says the Curtin Monash Accident Research Centre is pushing for the policy change because, according to their recent report, it is highly likely that a “good proportion” of drivers who failed random roadside breath tests would have used an illicit substance that would not be detected. The group also reveals that of all the drivers and riders killed on WA roads between 2000 and 2012, nearly a quarter had a blood alcohol reading of over 0.05 and illicit drugs in their system.
The research group claims that WA police is not performing drug testing for drink drivers because drink-driving carries a higher penalty than an illicit drug offence, and that they will have to spend more to drug test a driver who is already facing a fine in the first place.
Implementing a drugs policy that calls for drug testing for drink drivers may cost extra, but that extra cost could save extra lives. If the proposal for a ‘combined impairment” charge is approved, drivers testing positive for drugs and alcohol would be taken off the roads for a longer time because of heavier penalties that will presumably come with the change.
Click here to read the article in full.