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The Legal Drink - Drive Limit
· Alcohol intoxication is measured by percentage of milligrams (mgs) of alcohol per 100 millilitres (mls) of blood.
· There are two legal alcohol limits. One is for licensed drivers over 20 years. The other is for all drivers under 20 years and those with learner or restricted licences.
1. Full licence holders over 20 years:
The upper legal limit is:
80 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of blood or 400 microgrammes per litre of breath on a breathalyser
To stay under the limit follow these guidelines:

2. All licensed drivers under 20 years:
The upper legal limit is:
30 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of blood or 150 microgrammes per litre of breath
To stay under the limit:
· Male drivers should have no more than one 375 ml can of beer (4.5% alcohol) or two cans of low alcohol beer (2% alcohol).
· An average-size woman could go over the limit even after a double nip of spirits or a small glass of wine, or a can of beer.
· Eating food helps. Under 20-year-olds are best advised not to drink and drive.



PENALTIES FOR DRINK-DRIVING

People convicted of driving while over the legal alcohol limit can be disqualified from driving, fined, or imprisoned. The penalty is decided by the court judge.
Penalties for drivers under 20 years:
Maximum Licence Prison
Fine Disqualification

Over 80mg/100ml blood $4500 6 months 3 months
Cause death or injury $6000 1 year 5 years

Penalties for drivers under 20 years:
Between 30mg and
80mg/100ml blood $2250 3 months 3 months
Over 80mg/100ml blood $4500 6 months 3 months
Cause injury or death $6000 1 year 5 years
Note: A conviction of manslaughter could lenghten the prison term. Community service may also be imposed.

STAY SAFE AFTER DRINKING
If you know you are going to drink over the limit:
· Call a taxi for yourself or share one with friends.
· Make sure someone stays sober so they can drive people home safely. They can be the “lifesaver”.
· Call a company that offers drivers who can drive you and your vehicle home.
· If you're at a private house, ask if you could stay overnight or until you sober up.

Reproduced with the kind permission of the New Zealand Police Association



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