How drivers will be drug tested. The Minister of the Interior’s explanations

On Thursday, the government adopted a new Emergency Ordinance amending GEO 84 regarding drug testing of drivers. The Minister of the Interior Cătălin Predoiu made, on Thursday, some details about how the drivers will be drug tested.

Mandatory tests if it is obvious that the driver possesses or has consumed substances PHOTO Romana Police jpg

“Today, the Government adopted an Emergency Ordinance by which it developed and modified the provisions of Emergency Ordinance 84, previously adopted, regarding some provisions regarding safety on public roads”,

declared, on Thursday, the Minister of the Interior Cătălin Predoiu.

According to the minister, the new Ordinance develops the previous Ordinance, under two important aspects.

First of all, it establishes a period of 72 hours, in which the institutions of legal medicine must prepare the toxicological analyzes to highlight or not the presence or not of alcohol and prohibited substances in the blood of people who have been tested positive with a drug test or who refused testing“, explained the minister.

And the second important change is that at the expiration of this mandatory period for legal medicine institutions, of 72 hours, if the result does not arrive from the laboratory, the permit is returned to the person in question, according to the minister.

At the same time, the analyzes will be performed only by Forensic Medicine institutions. “Previously, in the version of the previous Ordinance, these analyzes could also be carried out by the Laboratories of the Romanian Police, laboratories that I specify are accredited according to international standards“, said Predoiu.

The minister stated that the state’s priority is to combat drug trafficking and consumption, an intention formulated in good faith, in the interest of the citizen to increase the safety of the citizen, and the measures are proportional and within the limits of the Constitution. “Therefore, I would like to remind you that through Ordinance 84, we proposed – and through the ordinance it was confirmed – the elimination of an excessive legal provision, namely the immediate preparation of the criminal file for those who refuse testing or are tested positive in a drug test, which it is a measure, obviously, in favor of the citizen of good faith”, Predoiu added.

The minister explained that drivers who refuse testing will be accompanied by the police to the medico-legal institutions, but the concrete procedural steps within this system are to be established by a Government decision, at the initiative of the Ministry of Health.

The norms will be developed by the Ministry of Health and we will see exactly what this internal working procedure is within the INML. All provisions of the law converge towards the conclusion of not subjecting the citizen to an extra effort. The Police are moving, the INML is doing the toxicological analyses. There is communication between INML and the Police. If it is not resolved within 72 hours, then the permit is returned“, explained Predoiu.

Mandatory tests if it is obvious that the driver possesses or has consumed prohibited substances

Cătălin Predoiu specified that the police will carry out tests on the drivers when it is obvious that there are prohibited substances in the vehicle or on the driver.

Not everyone who has a bottle or container containing a liquid will be tested, obviously. And the provision in the law says very clearly which shows that there could be such a prohibited substance. And the provision is, if you will, derived directly from the tragic case of last year, when sachets that could contain such substances were found inside the vehicle or on the driver. And rightly so, criticism was made then, why doesn’t the law provide for mandatory testing? Well, now Ordinance 84 brought these two important innovations, removed an obligation from the law, namely the obligation to prepare a criminal file, which was excessive and introduced another obligation in the law for the policeman, this time, to carry out a test when it is obvious that there are, please, prohibited substances in the vehicle or on the driver, it could be”, explained the minister, when asked how the testing will be done for those drivers who do not appear to have consumed alcohol or such substances, but have in their cars bottles of alcohol or various containers that may look suspicious, which may contain psychoactive substances.

On the other hand, regarding drugs contraindicated for driving, the minister noted that “there is a legal text, article 133 index 1 of Ordinance 195, amended in 2014, which provides that there should be a law – since 2014 there is this legal obligation – to draw up a law that draws up a list of prohibited substances”. The Romanian police drew attention, on Saturday, that it is necessary for citizens to inform themselves about the medicines they consume and to carefully read the leaflet or consult a doctor.

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu announced, on Thursday, before the Government meeting, that the emergency ordinance regarding GEO 84, regarding anti-drug testing of drivers, will be amended.

As we announced, we are amending the emergency road safety ordinance. I am referring in particular to the suspension of the driver’s license until the completion of the drug tests in the forensic medicine laboratories, if the result does not come within a maximum of 72 hours, the drivers get their licenses back”, said Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, at the beginning of the Governor’s meetingn.