Tests for people suspected of driving under the influence of drugs will in some cases be carried out by taking blood samples, should a new bill proposed by the transport ministry pass into law.

The bill foresees that in cases where the driver to be examined is hospitalised, a blood test will be administered if the driver is unable to give a saliva sample.

In addition, the new bill removes a previous provision which allowed for the usage of an initial saliva sample for laboratory examination. The current technology available to the police does not allow for this to occur, so the clause was removed.

The ministry also seeks to remove the current time limit on the storage of saliva samples from positive tests.

At present, saliva samples can only be stored for up to a month. The ministry intends to remove that limit, saying the limit has “no practical value” as the sample cannot be used for further tests after its initial testing anyway.

“The main objective of the drug testing law remains to prevent drivers from driving under the influence of drugs,” the ministry said.

They described the matter as “an extremely serious issue both for the drivers themselves and for other road users,” and said the current law has “filled a significant gap in the testing of drivers”.

The bill has been placed for public consultation, and those with opinions on it are able to submit them via the government’s e-consultation platform until May 9.