Can you count to thirty under pressure?

boinktastik

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Police have been given new powers to carry out roadside tests on drivers they suspect have been taking drugs.

Previously drivers could choose to take part in the impairment tests, but now refusal is an offence in the same way as failure to provide a breath test.

A code of practice explains how the tests, such as asking drivers to stand on one leg, should be carried out.

The maximum penalty for drug-driving - which covers illegal and prescription drugs - is six months in prison.

The tests are designed to show whether a driver's balance, judgement and ability to do two things at once have been affected by drugs.

Drivers could be asked to estimate when 30 seconds has passed and touch a finger to their nose.

Officers will also use a gauge to detect how much someone's pupils are dilated.

While detection equipment is also being developed, to be ready next year, the Department of Transport says it will only show if drugs are present but not whether driving ability has been impaired.

Road safety minister David Jamieson said: "Drug-driving puts lives at danger and is as irresponsible as drink-driving.

"Drivers should never get behind the wheel when they're unfit to drive."

The Code of Practice details the tests to be undertaken, how they should be administered, the kind of observations that may be made and the inferences that may be drawn.

The Department for Transport, following a three-year study, said 18% of people who died in road traffic accidents where known to have been driving with drugs in their systems.

'Taboo subject'

This is a six-fold increase compared to a 1989 study which showed only 3% of a random sample of road traffic accident driver fatalities were known to have drugs in their systems.

The new police powers were welcomed by RAC Foundation executive director Edmund King, but pressed the need for more public information about the dangers of drug-driving.

"For too long the real problem of drugs and driving has been a taboo subject.

"We are delighted that the situation is to be clarified and that the police will have new powers to tackle drug-drivers.

He added: "Many motorists are surprisingly ignorant of the dangers posed by drug-driving."
 

grokit23

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boinktastik said:
Previously drivers could choose to take part in the impairment tests, but now refusal is an offence in the same way as failure to provide a breath test.

A code of practice explains how the tests, such as asking drivers to stand on one leg, should be carried out.

The tests are designed to show whether a driver's balance, judgement and ability to do two things at once have been affected by drugs.

Drivers could be asked to estimate when 30 seconds has passed and touch a finger to their nose.

Officers will also use a gauge to detect how much someone's pupils are dilated.

While detection equipment is also being developed, to be ready next year, the Department of Transport says it will only show if drugs are present but not whether driving ability has been impaired.

These tests are straight from the same family of tests that they used to use in this country for drunk drivers and then were discredited and withdrawn because they weren't at all accurate and used to show up far too many false positives, ie: people failed the tests when administered at the roadside, then showed up as being clean when they had proper tests done at police stations. People with a poor sense of balance, inner-ear infections, problems with counting etc. etc. kept on being "caught" and then having to be released.

These are the same sort of tests that American police still use to this day and love to pieces, because you can fail almost anybody given enough time and pressure. Nice to see we're still moving backwards with our policing system... :no:
 

Goz

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Thats great stuff ... i broke my ankle when i was 17 and the ankle didn't reset in the right position ... as such i cannot stand on one leg for very long at all when perfectly sober ... I also have to rebalance my weight from foot to foot quite regularly or i suffer pain as a result of that injury as well (ie can't stand still and probably sway slightly from left to right).

Estimate 30 seconds? Meep .. again can't even do that when sober.

Never been able to walk in a straight line with one foot in front of the other.

Always been crap at the finger to nose test as well ...

Basically ... i'd be screwed. Lucky i don't drive :Wink3:
 
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