New drink drive laws halving the current alcohol driving limits will come in play on December 1.
Under the new law the breath alcohol limit drops from 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath to 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre breath.
Following the passing of the Land Transport Amendment Bill 2013 earlier this year, the blood alcohol limit will be 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, compared with the current limit of 80mgs per 100ml.
Demerit points for frequent offenders will also be introduced, so those caught driving after December 1 with a breath alcohol level between 251-400mcg, will result in a $200 fine and 50 demerit points.
Motorists who refuse or fail to do an evidential breath test will be fined $700 and get 50 demerit points.
Drivers who accumulate 100 or more demerit points within two years receive a three month driver’s licence suspension.
Former Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says the aim of the changes is to save lives and reduce injuries.
“Lowering the adult drink-driving limit sends a clear signal that consuming alcohol at high levels and then driving is unacceptable.”
More than 1500 people have died and 6700 seriously injured in alcohol-related crashes on New Zealand roads in the last 10 years, according to NZTA.
NZ Transport Agency road safety director Ernist Zollner says innocent road uses suffer pain and suffering from drink driving and lowering the limit sends a clear message.
More information about the Land Transport Amendment Bill and the changes to adult drink-driving limits can be found at www.transport.govt.nz/legislation/bills/land-transport-amendment-bill-2013/