Alcohol is one of the significant factors involved in fatal crashes. If you are in any doubt about being safe or legal to drive after drinking, don’t – it’s not worth it.
The Land Transport Act 1998 in New Zealand’s sets out drink-driving laws and fines.
Drink driving under-20s
If you are below or under the age of 20, the blood-alcohol limits are zero. Basically, if you have any alcohol in your blood, you will be fined and given demerit points.
Drink driving ages 20 and above
If you are older than 20, you can drive a vehicle while your blood-alcohol level is below 0.05%. If your blood-alcohol level is between 0.05% and 0.08%, you will receive a $200 on-the-spot infringement notice, and you will also receive demerit points. If your blood-alcohol level is 0.08% and over, you will be prosecuted through the courts and, if convicted, are often jailed for up to 3 months or fined up to $4,500. You will also be automatically disqualified to drive for a minimum of six months. If it’s your first offence, typically, you will pay a fine in proportion to how far over the limit you are. For being over the BAC limit, typical fines could be worked out as your percentage over and are multiplied by five. As an example, if your blood-alcohol level is 0.10% (10 mg over the limit), the fine will be $500, for 0.12%, the fine will be $600, and so on, and you will normally need to pay Court costs. For a second drink driving fine, likely sentences can depend on, for instance, how soon after the first offence was made. For a third offence, the penalties are far more serious. Repeated or serious drink driving incurs heavier fines. If you are sentenced for a third or more times of driving over the adult alcohol limits of 0.05%blood-alcohol, the penalties are heavier, and you can be jailed for up to 2 years or charged up to $6,000. You will automatically be disqualified from driving for a minimum of one year.
In conclusion, drinking and driving is illegal and is not worth the risk to the lives of innocent people or yourself. Don’t drink and drive. Know your Limits and utilise a BACtrack breathalyser to help guide you in your decision making.