We have a big problem in urban and rural New Zealand. Despite many campaigns to get people talking about drinking and driving, alcohol is still a factor in 30% of all fatal crashes in New Zealand.
These deaths wreak havoc in families and communities – and they are all preventable. Why is this still happening? There may be a misconception that ‘drunk driving’ means people are visibly drunk. But having one or a few drinks and driving is just as dangerous, to yourself and others.
The fact is: Any alcohol in your system affects your judgement and degrades your driving.
Drunk driving in NZ
The law on drink and drugged driving
In New Zealand, if you’re under 20 years old, the legal limit for alcohol in your system is ZERO. 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.
Because your alcohol tolerance can change depending on things like whether you’ve eaten or are tired, whether you’re male or female, whether you’ve just been playing sport or to the gym … the fact is many people don’t know exactly what their safe limit is and reaching the limit comes sooner that you realise.
The fact is: Even at the legal limit, you’re twice as likely to crash than before you started drinking.
Drugged driving in NZ
Driving after drug use is not uncommon. Deaths from drugged driving are preventable too.
The law treats controlled drugs and prescription medicines even-handedly because both can impair your ability to drive safe. The law cares about the safety risk to other road users, rather than the drug of choice.
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