Alcohol Driving Limit in NZ: The Need to Know
24 June, 2022
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. To check for BAC, police officers utilise an alcohol breath tester, commonly known as a breathalyser. Drink driving is a severe criminal offence and one of the most violated laws in New Zealand. Despite safety campaigns for the alcohol driving limit in NZ, many people still drive under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol consumption can affect an individual’s perception and motor functions. It can also impair driving ability, increasing the risk of accidents or fatalities. Therefore, checking your blood alcohol level before driving is an excellent way to prevent getting into an accident. Fortunately, you can now check your BAC through personal breathalysers. BACtrack personal breathalysers can effectively help you moderate your alcohol consumption. Knowing your BAC can assist you in determining if you are fit to drive.
The best way to avoid drunk driving charges is to know the legal limits in your state or country. In general, the alcohol driving limit in NZ for adults (20 years old and over) is 0.05% BAC. A 0.05% BAC equals 50mg alcohol for every 100ml of blood. Depending on the severity of your impairment, you can face criminal charges, hefty fines, driving disqualification, an alcohol interlock program, and possible imprisonment terms. As for those under 20 years old, the alcohol limit is 0.00%. Therefore, any measurable alcohol level in your blood can subject you to hefty fines and demerit points.
Who is Subject to an Alcohol Test?
A breath test using a breathalyser is the usual approach for alcohol screening. Police breathalysers are handheld devices using fuel cell sensor technology to test the BAC properly. Therefore, you must be aware of the alcohol driving limit in NZ to prevent legal repercussions. In addition, police enforcement can conduct a driving alcohol test anytime. It is crucial to apprehend drunk drivers to reduce accidents and fatalities. If the authorities have reasonable suspicion, they can request that the subject submits to an alcohol test. A driving alcohol test is essential for:
- Driving a commercial vehicle – Persons having a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) operate large vehicles such as trucks, forklifts, and construction equipment. To guarantee safety, occupations transporting dangerous items must also be subject to a mandatory alcohol test.
- Public transport – To ensure the public’s safety, drivers of public vehicles must pass an alcohol test.
- Private cars – All drivers who pass through a sobriety checkpoint or a random mobile inspection are subjected to screening tests by police.
- In an accident – Alcohol and drug tests are essential for evaluating whether a person consumed impairing substances that contributed to the accident.
Alcohol Driving Limit in NZ: Penalties
Drivers under the age of 20 have a zero alcohol driving limit in NZ. Therefore, alcohol in their system would prevent them from driving. For drivers under 20, the penalty for drunk driving in New Zealand can range from violation warnings to driving disqualification. For example, if your BAC is 0.031 per cent or greater, you might face up to 3 months in jail, $2,250 in fines, and a three-month licence suspension. You should also be aware that refusing a breath test issued by the authorities might result in serious consequences. Furthermore, these penalties can be as severe as those imposed for drunk driving in New Zealand. Refusing a breath test can result in a $4,500 fine and a six-month or longer driving suspension.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a significant problem in New Zealand. According to the Ministry of Transport, alcohol is the cause of approximately 30% of all road traffic accidents. The law enforcement authorities can pull over drivers to test their breath to see if they are under the legal alcohol driving limit in NZ. If the results of this test show that the person has a high alcohol level, they will be asked to submit to an evidential breath test or a blood test. Therefore, before you get behind the wheel, use a BACtrack personal breathalyser to check your blood alcohol level. Breath tests can help you determine whether it is safe to drive.
Alcohol Driving Limit in NZ: Test Procedures
To comply with the rules of the alcohol driving limit in NZ, police officers conduct roadside testing to determine whether a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle is impaired. A driving alcohol test aids in the detection of recent substance use that may result in fatalities. Furthermore, the tests are classified as follows:
- Compulsory Breath Test (CBT) – CBT allows police to test any driver without a valid reason. When passing through a checkpoint, drivers must provide a breath sample to a breathalyser. The device quickly analyses the sample and displays the BAC. More visible checkpoints aim to raise public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. As a result, it seeks to prevent impaired driving.
- Mobile Breath Test (MBT) – Mobile patrols conduct breath tests after pulling over a driver who shows indicators of impairment. Using MBT, many drivers were detained for drunk driving.
- Oral Fluids Test – The procedure collects a saliva sample to screen for drug use. It can detect commonly abused drugs like methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, benzodiazepines, MDMA, heroin and other opiates. Positive test results indicate the presence of illegal drugs over the limit. It can also detect alcohol usage during the last 24 hours.
Self-BAC Monitoring for Alcohol Driving Limit in NZ
One of the most critical concerns for New Zealand officials is alcohol drinking while driving. Unfortunately, despite numerous campaigns, many people violate drunk driving laws. Knowing the alcohol driving limit in NZ is essential, and avoiding exceeding it when driving. Furthermore, law enforcement and judges rely on the results of a police officer’s breathalyser when determining the penalty for drunk driving. The sensors in BACtrack personal breathalysers are the same as those in a police officer’s breathalyser. These sensors provide highly accurate personal readings.
Having a breath test first may help determine whether you are still within the legal alcohol driving limit in NZ. A breath test that performs with a breathalyser like a BACtrack personal breathalyser is an ideal way for a self-breath test. A breathalyser is a small device that detects alcohol in someone’s exhaled breath. To measure your alcohol consumption, place the breathalyser’s mouthpiece into your mouth and exhale into it. The device uses an electrochemical process to measure the amount of alcohol and converts it into BAC levels. Not only can the BACtrack personal breathalyser keep you safe, but it may also prevent you from getting a DUI.
Breathalyser technology has become more affordable and accessible over time. Personal breath testing equipment, such as BACtrack, can help you manage your alcohol consumption. Breathalysers New Zealand offers various BACtrack high-quality alcohol testers for different needs. They have a variety of personal and professional breathalysers available to help you stay under the legal alcohol driving limit in NZ. The BACtrack S80 Pro is a high-quality breathalyser that provides accurate and dependable BAC results. Breathalysers New Zealand helps keep the roads safe by offering accurate and reliable devices. Most BACtrack personal breathalysers utilise fuel cell sensors to produce precise BAC readings. Furthermore, BACtrack’s one-touch function allows you to verify your BAC level quickly.