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Auckland Transport

Drink driving

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.

Drink driving laws in New Zealand

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:
      • Gender.
      • Body weight/Body Mass Index.
      • How much food you have eaten.
      • If you have exercised and/or done physical activity.
      • Hydration levels.

Drive drink-free

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”.

Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD)

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.

For more information

Contact Auckland Transport