What Are The Drink Driving Laws In New Zealand

Background information

New Zealand has some of the toughest drink driving laws in the world. Drive any vehicle, bike, or boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and you’ll find yourself facing a long jail sentence and hefty fine. Drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.08% and you’ll face harsher penalties.
According to former Minister of Police Mark Mitchell, drink driving and getting behind the wheel of a car after taking drugs put others at risk, which is why the government is so vigilant in enforcing the law. The New Zealand government is committed to reducing the number of drink driving incidents and has been setting the legal limit for drivers increasingly lower since 1987.

What’s the legal limit in New Zealand?

Legal limits in New Zealand are set at 0.05% for commercial drivers and 0.03% for drivers aged 20 and under. In most cases, if drivers are over the legal limit, they may be charged with drink driving or driving while impaired. A driver found with a BAC of over 0.08% will face harsher penalties, including the possibility of a jail sentence and hefty fines.

What are the consequences?

If caught, the consequences of drink driving in New Zealand can be severe. Drivers may face criminal charges, large fines, and for more serious offences, a jail sentence. In addition to the risk of injuring yourself or someone else, drink driving can result in the loss of driver’s license, job, and reputation.

What are the experts saying?

Many experts have been vocal in making the case against drink driving in New Zealand. According to Dr Nicki Jackson, executive director of the Alcohol Healthwatch, drink driving is a huge part of the country’s transport culture and she believes education is needed to prevent people from drinking and driving. “People simply aren’t aware of the potential dangers” said Dr Jackson in an interview with The New Zealand Herald.

What can be done to prevent Drink driving?

The best way to prevent drink driving is to avoid it altogether. Think twice before getting behind the wheel and plan ahead for a safe way home, such as taking public transport or calling a cab. Drivers can also get their family and friends to help keep them accountable and not let them get in the car after drinking.

What are the technology solutions?

There is also an emerging focus on developing technological solutions to drink driving, such as developing apps to monitor a driver’s blood alcohol level and preventing them from getting behind the wheel. The Government has announced its plan to fund pilots of these technologies in New Zealand, in an effort to make the roads safer.

What are the police doing?

The Police are one of the key organisations in enforcing drink driving laws, and they take a zero-tolerance approach. They carry out regular roadside breath tests and drug screenings throughout the country. This is part of their mission to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries caused by drink driving.

What is the public attitude?

The public attitude towards drink driving in New Zealand is generally negative. A 2020 survey by the New Zealand Transport Agency showed that 84% of New Zealanders considered drink driving to be unacceptable, while 77% of those surveyed said they would speak out if they saw someone they knew drink driving.

What are the implications for businesses?

Businesses and employers are under increasing pressure to be held responsible for their employees’ actions when it comes to drink driving. If an employee is caught drink driving, they may face possible legal action or a range of fees and penalties that could affect the company. It is important for businesses to ensure that their employees understand the drink driving laws, and the risks associated with getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

How can we change our culture around drink driving?

Changing our culture around drink driving starts with conversations. We can start by having honest conversations with our family, friends, and peers about the dangers of drink driving and the importance of planning a safe way home. We can raise awareness of the issue by talking about it on social media or attending or hosting public events on the issue. We can also lead by example and always plan ahead for a safe way to get home after drinking.

What does the research say?

Research conducted in 2020 by the NZTA showed that the majority of New Zealanders are aware of the drink driving laws and the risks associated with drink driving. However, there is still much room for improvement, as what people know and report does not always correlate with their behaviour. Research also suggests that prevention measures, such as improving driver education and offering alternatives to driving after drinking, could be effective in reducing the incidence of drink driving.

What are the global initiatives?

There have been a number of international initiatives to reduce drink driving. For example, the United Nations has set a target of reducing alcohol-related road deaths and injuries by 50% by 2030, and a number of organisations are developing international campaigns and campaigns to educate people on the dangers of drink driving.

What are the legal options?

If caught, drivers in New Zealand may have legal options available to them. Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to defend themselves against the charges, or reach a settlement. If the charges are serious, they may need to contact a lawyer to assess their options.

What are the public policies?

The New Zealand Government has introduced a number of public policies to reduce drink driving rates, such as reducing the legal blood alcohol limit, increasing penalties for drink driving, and providing education campaigns. These policies aim to discourage people from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and reduce the number of road accidents and injuries caused by drink driving.

What can be done to raise awareness?

Raising awareness about the dangers of drink driving is key to reducing the number of incidents. This can be done through a combination of measures, such as running public education campaigns, hosting events, developing resources, and engaging with key stakeholders. The Government, community organisations, and individuals can all play their part in raising awareness about drink driving laws and the potential consequences.

Valarie Bristol

Valarie B. Bristol is a passionate writer and researcher from New Zealand. She is committed to sharing her knowledge and love of New Zealand with the world. In her free time, Valarie enjoys exploring the countryside and taking pictures of the beautiful landscapes that make up the country. She also loves spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and reading.

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