drink driving fine

Drink Driving Fine in New Zealand

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.


Related articles:


car breathalyzer

Car Breathalyzer

One of the biggest problems in New Zealand these days is driving under the influence or DUI. Many people in New Zealand are hurt or killed as a result of drunk drivers. In the past, people who have a DUI on their record have been given little more than a slap on the wrist. But in some states, that is changing thanks to something called an ignition interlock device or a car breathalyzer. Before you can start the car, it requires the person to blow into the device to test their blood alcohol level.

Advantages of a car breathalyzer device:

• Fewer drunk drivers – many states require installation after the first offence. It means it will make the driver think twice before having that drink.
• Safer roads – since a lot of the accidents on the road are related to drunk driving, there are going to be fewer accidents on the road and fewer deaths and injuries due to drunk drivers.
Awareness and responsibility – the people who have prior DUI convictions think it is embarrassing by having to drive around with the device in the car and can be a testimony to other drivers.

Disadvantages of ignition interlock devices or car breathalyzer:

• Not foolproof – a driver can have a passenger blow into the device which tricks the car interlock into thinking that they are sober when they are not. Some drivers decide to do this even though it can get them into trouble if found out.
• Inconvenient for others – during a car service, they also need to use the device before they can start the engine making it very inconvenient. Whether the person needs the oil changed, their car towed, or an inspection the car needs to be started before doing those things.

Maybe due to the invention of the car breathalyzer, there are going to be a lot more sober people on the road and a lot fewer people whose are devastated because someone they know was injured or killed due to a drunk driver. Maybe one of these days, individuals are going to learn that driving drunk isn’t worth it. But until that happens, perhaps the inconvenience and the embarrassment caused by these devices will make people think twice about that last beer.

Is a beer worth paralyzing or killing someone?

For more information about breathalysers, visit our faqs section.

breath test

How Roadside Breath Tests are Conducted

Random Breath testing has been used by New Zealand Police to detect alcohol impaired drivers since 1969. Anyone in control of a vehicle or attempting to drive a vehicle can be asked to conduct a random Breath Test.