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New licensing and drink drive changes for youth drivers

New licensing and drink drive changes for youth drivers

From 7th August 2011 the new blood alcohol level for drivers under 20 years of age is zero. Police will be enforcing these new limits from that date.

Drivers under 20 with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.00 and 0.03 or an equivalent breath alcohol reading of between 0 and 150 (the current legal limit for under 20s) will receive an infringement. The penalty will be an infringement fee of $200 and 50 demerit points. Young drivers with a blood/breath alcohol concentration over 0.03 or 150 will be subject to the same drink drive penalties as they are now.

The age in which a young person can obtain a drivers licence has also been raised from 15 to 16 years from 1st August 2011.

"Young drivers are more vulnerable to alcohol and to making errors while driving after drinking. This legislation is intended to remove any doubt about what is a safe level," says Acting Senior Sergeant Mark Holmes of the Western Bay of Plenty Road Policing Unit.

"This year alone, 172 young drivers in the Western Bay of Plenty aged between 15-19yrs have been charged with drink driving offences.

"The Bay of Plenty has the second highest number of drink driving apprehensions in New Zealand and this is not a record that we should be proud off.

"Last year 13 people died on Western Bay of Plenty roads and excess alcohol was a contributing factor in eight of these deaths.

"The challenge is now for the community to work together alongside Police to reduce this problem."

Acting Senior Sergeant Holmes says the new legislation also provides stronger legislation to remove recidivist drink drivers from the roads.

"It is intended to make everyone safer by removing drinking drivers from the roads but it is, as always, down to each individual to take responsibility for themselves.

"If you are stopped you can be expected to be breath tested and if you are drink driving you can expect to be held accountable."


ENDS

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