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First Time Drink Driving Offence in NZ: What are the Repercussions?

18 January, 2022

Alcohol directly affects your body’s senses and perception as you consume it. Depending on the alcohol concentration in your beverage and the amount consumed, it could impair your judgment and motor functions. Unfortunately, some people end up consuming more than they initially intend to. People who do not check their blood alcohol content (BAC) through a breathalyser before driving risk getting into accidents. A BACtrack personal breathalyser can monitor your BAC level, which can help prevent drink driving charges. If police suspect you of impaired driving, they will ask you to take an alcohol breath test. If you fail a police breathalyser test, you will face penalties under New Zealand laws. Even if it is your first time drink driving offence in NZ, there are plenty of legal repercussions.

Failing a police breathalyser test means that your BAC level has exceeded the legal limit for alcohol of 0.05%. Will the police or court be lenient for a first time drink driving offence in NZ? Under the road code of New Zealand, first offences have corresponding penalties depending on your age and BAC level. Drivers under 20 years old have an alcohol limit of 0.00%. Suppose your alcohol level is 0.03% BAC; you could acquire an on-the-spot infringement notice, a fine and 50 demerit points. However, if your BAC is very high, you could be disqualified from driving, given demerit points, fined, or have your car confiscated. Any amount of alcohol can get them in trouble.

First Time Drink Driving Offence in NZ: Legal Age

On the other hand, if you are 20 years old and above, a first time drink driving offence in NZ is more severe. You could get hefty fines and 50 demerit points up until 0.08% BAC. Meanwhile, a BAC of 0.081-0.16% is subject to up to 3 months prison terms, $4,500 in fines, and 6 months or more license disqualification or suspension. Lastly, the court may impose an alcohol interlock disqualification. Additionally, refusal to provide a blood test to the police is subject to prison terms of a maximum of three months, a $4,500 fine, and six months or more license disqualification. A simple device like a BACtrack breathalyser can help prevent all these legal troubles.

A first time drink driving offence in NZ does not exempt one from the legal repercussions it entails. Therefore, knowing your alcohol level is the best way to stay safe on the road and avoid getting in trouble. The BACtrack personal breathalyser is an effective and quick device for checking for BAC. All it takes is 10 to 15 seconds for a BACtrack breathalyser to assess your BAC. These breathalysers also use the same sensor technology you would find in a police officer’s breathalyser. This technology allows BACtrack devices to provide highly reliable BAC results.

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