Media Release: 30th June 2010: Random Drug testing law is costly and flawed, say Democrats

DARREN CHURCHILL

ACT Democrats President

Media Release: 30th June 2010:

Random Drug testing law is costly and flawed, say Democrats

“The Legislative Assembly has failed Canberrans by passing a costly and flawed Random Drug Testing law.” says ACT Democrats President, Darren Churchill

The Oppositions’ Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) (Random Drug Testing) Amendment Bill 2009 was rushed through the Legislative Assembly today with support from the Liberals and the Greens, despite the ACT Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Helen Watchirs warning that the law would fail a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.

“Dr Watchirs has repeated her concerns of two years ago that the legislation will breach the Human Rights Act. But the Assembly has gone ahead and passed this intrusive law anyway. “

“Not even so much as a statement of intent about “road safety” and simply ignoring the concerns of the Human Rights Commissioner. This clearly shows that the Liberals and the Greens are more concerned about increasing police powers than they are about human rights. And the Labor government is weak for not being able to negotiate a better outcome.” declared Mr Churchill

“Mr Stanhope was right to raise Dr Watchirs concerns. But it’s not enough. It is essential that all ACT legislation conform to our Human Rights Act 2004, which both the Labor government and the Australian Democrats have championed as being a good model for similar national legislation.”

“On top of this there is the added problem of stretching already insufficient police resources in order to implement the scheme. There will be no increases in police resources and training despite the time taken to test people and the cost involved, diverting police resources from solving real crime.”

“The law will make a mockery of the rules of evidence by disregarding the level of a drug required for impairment. This is just a facade of trying to appear tough on drugs with no real intention of improving road safety or public safety. Surely, it would be better to utilise police resources in improving the overall enforcement of traffic laws and other laws?” Mr Churchill continued.

“This law should be repealed and should not be re-introduced until there is a proven scientific method of measuring the relationship between different quantities and types of drugs and the level of impairment to driving associated with them for a legislated drug induced impairment equivalent to 0.05 Blood Alcohol Concentration scientifically established.”

“The law must also be written to conform with our excellent Human Rights Act 2004.” Mr Churchill concluded.

Darren Churchill

ACT Democrats President

darren.churchill@act.democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

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