Case for Change

Drink driving doesn't just harm the driver - passengers and other road users are often involved in alcohol-related road deaths and injuries.

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.

The risk of crashing increases with the amount of alcohol in the blood at the time of driving. Road traffic crashes involving alcohol are more likely to result in death or severe injuries.

The number of convicted drink-drive offences has declined in recent years. Despite the downward trend, the number of repeat or multiple offenders remains high.

30% of fatal crashes in NZ involve alcohol

Alcohol use causes impairment when driving. 

Alcohol contributes to around 30 percent of New Zealand’s fatal road crashes.

Road traffic crashes involving alcohol are more likely to be fatal or result in severe injuries [9].

The risk of crashing increases with the amount of alcohol in the blood at the time of driving.  For New Zealanders aged 20 years or over, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05mg alcohol per 100ml of blood. For drivers under 20 years, there is a zero tolerance to alcohol in the blood.

In New Zealand, drivers aged 20-29 with a BAC of 0.05mg/100ml are about 17 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than their sober counterpart. Adults aged over 30 years are about 6 times as likely.

The risk of any crash is increased by 13 to 18 times for drivers with a BAC of 0.10mg/100ml and the risk of a fatal crash by 50 to 90 times [10].


New Zealand statistics

From 2004-2015, there were 1,100 deaths and 5,300 serious injuries from drink-driving accidents.

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

How much does it cost us?

In 2014, it was estimated that the social cost of alcohol-related crashe  (for drivers over 20 years) was $446 million.


Number of convicted drink-drive offences

The number of convicted drink-drive offences has declined in recent years, down from 30,446 in 2009/10 to 18,062 in 2015/16 [11,12].

It is unknown whether this is a true decrease as result of changing attitudes to drink driving, or changes in the way that Police have carried out, or targeted, their random breath testing methods.

Despite the downward trend, the number of repeat or multiple offenders remains high. Almost 49% (10,094) of total convicted drink-drivers were repeat or multiple offenders in 2013/14 [12].

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