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Transport Agency - lower blood alcohol limit will save lives

Transport Agency says lower blood alcohol limit will save lives

31 July 2014

The NZ Transport Agency is welcoming news that Parliament has voted to lower the legal blood alcohol limit from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood for drivers aged over 20.

Transport Agency Road Safety Director Ernst Zollner says the change will save lives and prevent serious injuries, with more than 1,500 deaths and 6,700 serious injuries sustained in alcohol-related crashes on New Zealand roads in the past ten years.

"Drink-driving inflicts a huge amount of pain and suffering on innocent road users, and this change sends a clear message to those who would put others at risk by driving drunk. Together with other recent changes including zero alcohol limits for teens and new penalties for serious and repeat drink-driving offenders this measure will make New Zealand roads safer for everyone."

Mr Zollner said the lower blood alcohol limit also brings New Zealand law into line with the limits already in place in the majority of other OECD countries.

Reducing deaths and serious injuries from drink-driving is a key plank of the Government’s Safer Journeys strategy, which looks across the entire road system to improve safety by creating safer roads and roadsides, safer speeds, safer vehicles and safer road use.

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