The New Zealand government is currently considering the option of lowering the drink drive limit. Prime Minister John Key has said that a decision will be made in November as whether the limit will be lowered from 0.08g per 100ml of blood to 0.05g.
A survey by TV One released in October, found that 69% of 1000 voters questioned want the limit brought down. A decade ago only 47% supported lowering the limit.
The government is under pressure from opposition parties and a Labour Party bill that would lower the limit to 0.05g is on parliament’s agenda for a first reading.
Police have told a parliamentary committee that lowering the limit would reduce the road toll and the Automobile Association supports it. Mr Key said the cabinet will soon have the results of a two-year exercise to gather statistics on the number of accidents involving drivers who were between 0.08 and 0.05.
One of the options the government has been considering is to fine drivers who are caught between the two limits, rather than prosecute them. “There are some logical reasons supporting that and they include the clogging up of our courts,” Mr Key
Justice Minister Judith Collins says about 32,000 people are convicted every year under the current limit, and if it is lowered to 0.05 she expects that would go up to about 70,000.