Drinking & driving
New Zealand drink drive legal alcohol limits
The Land Transport Act 1998 outlines the legal alcohol limits for drivers.
- Drivers under 20 years - zero.
The legal drink drive limit for drivers under 20 years of age is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of zero.
- Drivers 20 years and over – 250 mcg breath or 50mg blood.
The legal drink drive limits for drivers 20 years and over are a breath alcohol limit of 250 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol per litre of breath and a blood alcohol limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
How are these alcohol limits measured?
The alcohol limit for driving can be tested through:
- breath testing to measure the number of micrograms of alcohol (mcgs) per litre of breath
- blood testing to measure the number of milligrams of alcohol (mgs) per 100 millilitres (mls) of blood.
Although the measures appear different, they are essentially the same. Both measure the same level of alcohol for drink driving purposes.
Breath testing is used for both screening and evidential purposes. Blood testing can be used as a check on the accuracy of the breath testing. The Police can require a blood test if the person refuses to do a breath test.
Why shouldn’t I drink and drive?
Research indicates that driving ability is impaired after consuming any level of alcohol. If you are going to drink, then find an alternative way to get home rather than driving yourself.