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Police given new drug-testing powers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/11/2016

Minister of Corrections, Judith Collins at an event. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Minister of Corrections, Judith Collins at an event. Parliament has unanimously passed a bill that gives police the power to drug test people serving community sentences or who are on bail to make sure they're complying with court-imposed conditions.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins says courts can impose conditions requiring offenders to abstain from drugs and/or alcohol, but the police haven't had clear legislative authority to test them.

"Drug and alcohol misuse is a major driver of crime - more than half of crime is committed by people under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol," she said after the bill had been passed.

"By allowing this testing to occur, the bill greatly improves our capacity to hold offenders and bailees to account and maintain the integrity of their sentences and orders."

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