Palau Bill Proposes Drug Testing Of Suspected Drivers

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Bill passes first reading, referred to judiciary affairs committee

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Oct. 29, 2013) – A bill was introduced in Palau’s Senate on Friday that allows drug testing of drivers suspected to be under the influence of controlled substances.

Senate Bill No. 9-86 states that it shall be unlawful for any person under the influence of any controlled substance or combined influence of alcohol and any controlled substance to drive any vehicle upon any highway.

Any person who operates a motor vehicle on public roads shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to a test of his breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his blood or urine and to determine the use of a controlled substance.

The test shall be approved by the Bureau of Public Health and the Bureau of Public Safety and it shall be administered only after a lawful arrest and the police officer has informed the person of sanctions of refusal to submit to testing.

The bill states that a person shall be conclusively presumed to be under the influence of a controlled substance if any amount of a controlled substance, other than what is medically prescribed for the person, is found in the blood of the person and he or she failed a field sobriety test or refused to submit to field sobriety test for a reason other than a physical handicap unrelated to the person’s impairment.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Rukebai Inabo and co-authored by Sen. Phillip Reklai, Sen. Mason Whipps, Sen. Raynold Oilouch, Sen. Surangel Whipps Jr. and Sen. Regis Akitaya, passed first reading and was referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Affairs for review.

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