Alcohol-related accidents are a significant road safety issue in New Zealand. Auckland Transport (AT) is working closely with the community and with other agencies to reduce drink driving on our region's roads.
- Find out what New Zealand's drink driving laws are.
- Drive drink-free.
- Learn more about Students Against Dangerous Driving.
- Hints for planning a party for you or your teenager.
Drink driving is an issue for all ages and statistics show that people aged between 20 and 39 are responsible for 47% of all fatal alcohol-related crashes.
Studies have shown that the risk of being involved in a crash increases as a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) increases. At high blood alcohol levels, the risk rapidly increases.
The following laws apply to drink driving in New Zealand:
- Under 20 - There is a zero alcohol limit if you are under 20. That means if you drive after consuming even one drink you can be charged with drink driving.
- 20 or over - You must not drive if you have consumed more than the legal alcohol limit, which is 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood.
- It's difficult to estimate how many alcoholic drinks a person can have before they reach these limits and depends on many factors, including:
- Body weight/Body Mass Index.
- How much food you have eaten.
- If you have exercised and/or done physical activity.
- Hydration levels.
AT promotes a zero alcohol policy towards drinking and driving.
The only safe zone is drink-free. Even at 50mg of alcohol, the predictable effects on a person’s driving are reduced coordination, difficulty steering, and a reduced response to emergency driving situations.
Tips for an alcohol-free night out include:
- Plan ahead and have a sober driver solution sorted before you and your friends start drinking. Simple solutions include choosing a sober driver and carpooling rosters.
- Try mocktails and other non-alcoholic drinks - non-alcoholic beer is now available in New Zealand.
- Let your friends know your plans for the next day (and beyond), which encourage you to stay alcohol-free, eg “I’m running a marathon in 2 weeks”.
SADD is a peer-education programme that has been running in NZ for almost 20 years.
SADD aims to reduce the harm caused on our roads by dangerous drivers. The education programme is run in secondary schools by students, independent of the school curriculum, and is open to any student of any year.
Hints and tips for planning a party
If you or your teenager are planning a party, we have some tips to help make it safe, social and fun. Here are some things to consider:
- Make sure that you and another parent are present. There is less likely to be trouble if there is parent supervision.
- Limit the number of people coming to the party, and find out their parent's contact details.
- Set house rules for guests, such as having certain rooms off-limits - this helps keep guests in one place.
- Provide food and snacks for guests.
- Have a plan in place for emergencies, or if uninvited guests turn up.
- Make sure people don't drive drunk - arrange for an adult sober driver or suggest public transport if young party goers are heading into town or on to another event.
- Let your neighbours know that you are hosting a party. Neighbours are less likely to contact Police if they know about a party in advance.
Checklist for teens:
Do you have a party coming up? Here are some things to consider:
- Who are you inviting?
- What times does your event start and finish?
- Do you have parent supervision?
- Are you providing food and non-alcoholic drinks?
- How are your guests getting to and from your party?
- Do you know who to call if something goes wrong?
Checklist for parents:
If your teenager going to a party, or school ball this year?
- Who is hosting the event and how much adult supervision will there be?
- What times does the event start and finish?
- What are the transport arrangements for your teen?
- Will there be alcohol at this event?
- Does your teen have an emergency plan?
As a party host you have a responsibility to make sure drinking doesn't get out of hand, and that your party doesn't get out of control.
It is illegal to supply alcohol to anyone under 18 unless:
- The person supplying alcohol is the parent or legal gaurdian, and the the alcohol is supplied in a reasonable manner.
- The person supplying alcohol has the express consent of the parent or legal guardian, and the alcohol is supplied in a responsible manner.
You can be fined up to $2,000 if you don't follow the law.