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Drinking and Driving
Driving after drinking alcohol is dangerous and irresponsible. It puts at risk the lives of the driver, passengers, other motorists and pedestrians using the roads. Drinking drivers are the biggest problem on our roads.
Nearly half of all road deaths, and nearly quarter of injuries, involve alcohol. Each
year around 250 people die, and 3500 people are seriously injured as a result. Nowadays society strongly condemns people who drink and drive. This is reflected in the law.
 Never go over the alcohol limit if you intend driving
 Take the car keys off a person who's obviously had too much
 Avoid being a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who's had too much
 Be the “lifesaver”.


Compulsory Breath Testing (CBT) allows police to breath test any driver for alcohol anywhere at any time. Anyone who drinks and drives over the limit can be caught. Police use compulsory breathtesting at checkpoints or on roving patrols. They use an electronic “sniffer” to test drivers for breath alcohol. This separates drinking drivers from drivers who haven’t had alcohol.
Drivers who have been drinking are then tested to see if they are over the drink-drive limit. They are asked to “blow in the bag”. They are then asked to take an evidential breath test at the police station or a “booze bus”. Drivers can consult a lawyer before taking an evidential breath test, and depending on the result of the evidential breath test they also have the right to ask for a blood test instead.
The evidential breath test is used in court. Ninety-eight per cent of drinking drivers taken to court are convicted.

Reproduced with the kind permission of the New Zealand Police Association

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