Staying Safe when

From 1 December 2014 the alcohol limited for drivers aged 20 years and over lowered from 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath to 250mcg. The blood alcohol limited lowered from 80mg per 100ml of blood (0.08) to 50mg (0.05) for drivers aged over 20.

Under 20?

Your limit is ZERO

That means you’re not allowed any alcohol when you drive

Over 20?

50mg (0.05) for drivers aged over 20. Your likelihood of crash increases when your blood levels are at 0.5


We offer road safety education services and talks to community groups, schools, and businesses in the district.

How many people are killed and injured by drink-driving?

Alcohol is a factor in around 30 percent of New Zealand’s fatal road crashes.

For every 100 alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers or riders who die in road crashes, 47 of their passengers and 16 sober road users die with them.

What happens if I blow over 250mcg?

If you blow above 250mcg you will be taken to the police station for a more conclusive breath test. If you are over the new limit, you could receive an infringement notive of $200 and 50 demerit points. You may also be forbidden to drive for up to 12 hours. Drivers who are over 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, or 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, will face criminal sanctions.

Over the last 10 years, fatal crashes caused by drink-driving have claimed the lives of around 1,100 people and caused serious injuries to another 5,300.

How does alcohol affect driving?

Research by the University of Waikato showed:

Substantial impairment across a broad range of cognitive and driving measures occurs at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (the legal limit before 1 December 2014)
Cognitive skills such as response times, problem solving, memory and attention were not significantly impaired at 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (the legal limit after 1 December 2014)
Drivers at both 50 and 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood were unable to accurately judge either their actual level of intoxication or their ability to drive, but the level of error in judgement was significantly higher for those at 80mg.