A zero alcohol limit for drivers under 20 is being enforced from Sunday, in a change the Government says will save lives and lessen the burden on the health system.
The new limit is being introduced because teenagers are over-represented in crash statistics; the 2009 figures show 68 deaths involved a driver between 15 and 19 years old. Alcohol was either proven or suspected in 26 deaths.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the new law is about saving lives and letting teenagers know they are not bulletproof.
Teenage drivers caught with a blood alcohol level up to the current limit of 0.03 will be fined $200 and given 50 demerit points. Higher readings will be dealt with under existing laws.