Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Drug Driving

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:03): My question is to the minister representing the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. On a number of occasions in this place I have asked a question or made a comment about drug driving. This would come as no shock given my former life as a police officer and also my party’s focus on the legal system and its shortcomings. On one of these occasions we were advised by the minister to look out for some dates when the state government would report back about its approach to drug driving. My question to the minister is: what are these dates we can look out for in relation to the reporting back of these newly informed approaches to drunk drivers, and are we likely to see changes to training for police officers to allow more impairment testing of drug drivers?

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:04): In a response I received to a question on notice, the minister indicated that in 2019 just 63 drivers were charged with impairment. Over this time over 150 000 drug tests were conducted. The minister said that Victoria Police cannot disaggregate the number of persons charged with impaired driving in terms of those that received a positive test outcome at the roadside. However, the state government’s submission to the 2019 road toll inquiry states that in 2018 Victoria Police issued over 4600 infringement notices for drug-driving offences. I am aware that only a very limited number of Victoria Police highway patrol officers have the training to actually conduct an impairment test, which undermines the approach to remove dangerous drug drivers from our roads. Given the very small percentage of drivers being charged with impairment in comparison with the overall drug-driving offences, can the minister elaborate on the effectiveness of the impairment offence in making our roads safer?


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