COVID-19 response

If you are looking for the latest legal information relating current Coronavirus laws in New Zealand, check out our new section: Coronavirus and the Law.

Communtity Law Manual | Driving & traffic law | Summary of drink/drug driving offences and penalties

Summary of drink/drug driving offences and penalties

The drink-drug driving offence
(Land Transport Act)

The penalty

Adult driving with between 250–400 mcg breath-alcohol or between 50–80 mg blood-alcohol (s 56(1A), (2A))

$200 infringement fee; 50 demerit points (LTOPR)

Adult driving with between 50–80 mg blood-alcohol, and refusing evidential breath test (s 56(2B))

$700 infringement fee; 50 demerit points (LTOPR)

Driving with breath-alcohol over 400 mcg or blood-alcohol over 80 mg (s 56(1), (2))

Driving under the influence of alcohol and incapable of proper control (s 58(1)(a))

First or second offence: up to three months’ prison or up to $4,500 fine; at least six months’ disqualification

Third offence or more: up to two years’ prison or up to $6,000 fine; at least one year’s disqualification

Driving under the influence of drugs and incapable of proper control (s 58(1)(a))

Driving while impaired by drugs (s 57A)

Driving after taking Class A drugs (s 58(1)(b))

First or second offence: up to three months’ prison or up to $4,500 fine; at least six months’ disqualification

Third offence or more: up to two years’ prison or up to $6,000 fine; at least one year disqualification

Under-20 driving with breath/blood-alcohol more than zero but less than 150 mcg / 30 mg (s 57(1A), (2A))

$200 infringement fee; 50 demerit points (LTOPR)

Under-20 driving with breath-alcohol between 150–400 mcg or blood-alcohol between 30–80 mg (s 57(1), (2))

Up to three months’ prison or up to $2,250 fine; at least three months’ disqualification; 50 demerit points (LTOPR)

Not remaining after a breath screening test (s 59(1)(a))

Up to $4,500 fine; disqualification for as long as judge decides

Not going with Police for evidential breath test, drug impairment test, or blood test (s 59(1)(b))

Not remaining, or not going with Police to another place, for evidential breath test, drug impairment test, or blood test (s 59(1)(c))

Not remaining until result of evidential breath test or drug impairment test (s 59(1)(d))

Up to $4,500 fine; disqualification for as long as judge decides

Refusing to have a blood test or drug impairment test (s 60)

First or second offence: up to three months’ prison or up to $4,500 fine; at least six months’ disqualification

Third offence or more: up to two years’ prison or up to $6,000 fine; at least one year disqualification

Drink/drug driving causing injury (s 61(3))

Up to five years’ prison or a fine up to $20,000; at least one year disqualification

Drink/drug driving causing death (s 61(3AA))

Up to 10 years’ prison or a fine up to $20,000; at least one year disqualification

Careless driving causing injury or death when you’re under the influence of drink/drug – but not incapable of proper control, not over alcohol limits, and passing a drug impairment test (s 62)

Up to three years’ prison or a fine up to $10,000; at least one year disqualification

back to top
Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out LoudPress Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out LoudPress Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out LoudScreen Reader Support