NZ First wants old drink drive laws back

Drive 30/06/2018

A law change back in 2014 slashed the amount of booze Kiwis could drink before getting behind the wheel. The legal breath-alcohol limit was lowered from 400mcg to 250mcg per litre of breath.

It was aimed at cutting the number of alcohol-related accidents on our roads.

But New Zealand First has proposed to ditch the restrictive limits because the number of drink driving accidents has actually increased since the 2014 law change came into effect.

It’s targeting the normal Kiwis who just want to have a beer or wine after work.

NZ First MP Darroch Ball introduced a bill to have the legal breath-alcohol limit of 400mcg per litre of breath reinstated.

Mr Ball told RadioLIVE that in the first few months of 2015, there were actually fewer fines issued for alcohol-related driving behaviour.

“It’s targeting the normal Kiwis who just want to have a beer or wine after work and [who] drink responsibly, drive responsibly, and go home.

“It’s not like in any way that they are afraid to get caught because their driving is impaired. They’re afraid to get caught because they’re going to get fined. And that’s not a logical common sense way to have any piece of legislation working.”

He argued that the vast majority of those caught drink-driving are in the range of twice the legal limit, or more.

He also says rural pubs are struggling.

“It totally ignores the [drivers] we should be targeting, which are the highly recidivist, high level drink drivers,” he told RadioLIVE.

Since the 2014 law change, a greater percentage of drivers involved in fatal accidents have been found to be above the legal limit. While Mr Ball says this is evidence the law isn't working, it could be that more drivers are getting snagged by the lower limits.

The road toll has been going up since 2013.

Listen to the full interview with Darroch Ball above.

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