Get Prepared

Alcohol and driving

Alcohol impairs reaction times, judgement, attention, vision and other essential skills for safe driving.

Impairment can occur at very low levels of consumption. The risk of crashing increases with every drink.

Fatigue multiplies the risk of an accident. 

No alcohol is the safest option if you are going to be driving a vehicle, boat or operating other machinery.

Blood Alcohol Limits

It is an offence to drive a vehicle over the legal alcohol limits in New Zealand.  The legal limits are;

  • Zero for those aged under 20 years.
  • 250mcg/litre of breath or 50mg/100 ml of blood (0.05)

For more information on limits and penalties for driving over the limit see

Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Programme

Section 65a of the Land Transport Amendment Act 1998 requires mandatory alcohol interlock sentences for repeat drink drive offenders and high-risk drink-drive offenders with Blood Alcohol Concentration of 160mg/100ml (BAC 0.16). It also requires repeat drink-drive offenders to attend an assessment centre and achieve satisfactory result before removing the interlock device. 

Alcohol interlocks are useful in assisting those who continue to drink and drive. These can be used in conjunction with treatment options and can be used by Judges in sentencing those convicted of drink-driving.