Drinking? Don’t drive

If you’re drinking, it’s safer to get a taxi, walk home or get a lift with a sober driver.

Think before you drink

In Christchurch, over the last five years, there have been too many deaths and serious injury crashes caused by alcohol and speed.

The safest option is not to drink at all before driving, even small amounts of alcohol begin to impair your ability to drive. 

Whether you are heading out to a bbq or a drink on the way home from work, make a plan to get a taxi, walk or get a lift home. 

  • Make safe travel plans before you start drinking and stick to them.  Plans made during or after drinking are likely to lack good judgement.
  • Be aware that you may still be over the limit the next day and not well rested. Consider delaying your drive, take alternative transport, or ask a friend to drive you.
  • If in any doubt at all about being legally safe to drive, don’t take the risk.
  • The safest option is not to drink at all before driving, even small amounts of alcohol begin to impair your ability to drive.
  • Alcohol and drugs seriously affect your driving by slowing reaction times and affecting your senses and judgement. Alcohol is the second biggest contributing factor to road crashes in New Zealand.
  • Once absorbed into your bloodstream, alcohol enters your vital organs, including your brain. The result is slowed reactions, dulled judgement and vision, all of which impair your ability to drive. Drugs have a similar effect. Both alcohol and drugs can also increase the risks of fatigue. 
  • Don't go along with other people's bad decisions to drive while they're impaired. Please keep yourself safe.

Drink driving is an issue for all ages and statistics show that people aged between 20 and 39 are responsible for 47% of all fatal alcohol-related crashes.

Studies have shown that the risk of being involved in a crash increases as a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) increases. At high blood alcohol levels, the risk rapidly increases.

The following laws apply to drink driving in New Zealand: 

  • Under 20 - There is a zero alcohol limit if you are under 20. That means if you drive after consuming even one drink you can be charged with drink driving. 
  • 20 or over - You must not drive if you have consumed more than the legal alcohol limit, which is 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. 
  • It's difficult to estimate how many alcoholic drinks a person can have before they reach these limits and depends on many factors including:        
    • Gender.
    • Bodyweight/ Body mass index.
    • How much food you have eaten. 
    • If you have exercised and/or done physical activity.  
    • Hydration levels.

During the 5 years between 2011-2015 in Christchurch City:

  • There were 20 deaths and 119 serious injury road crashes attributed to alcohol.
  • Alcohol was a contributing factor in 14% of all fatal and serious crashes in Christchurch City.
  • 78% all at fault driver crashes involving alcohol in Christchurch City were males and 22% were female.
  • Over 20% of the at-fault drivers in the injury crashes were males aged between 20 and 24 and 36% of the injury crashes had speed as a contributing factor too. 

(Source: Crash Analysis System (CAS) Data December 2016)

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