14 Feb 2012

2700 teens caught drink driving under zero alcohol law

8:16 pm on 14 February 2012

More than 2700 teenagers been charged since the zero alcohol for drivers under 20 came in last August.

Police say that is not a bad result, but the Automobile Association is not as convinced.

Official figures show that 2734 teenagers were caught driving with alcohol in their system between 1 August and 16 January.

The law applies to those under 20 years of age.

The police district where the most charges were laid, 339, was Canterbury; followed by Bay of Plenty with 329.

Acting national road policing manager, Superintendent Rob Morgan, says the numbers are encouraging, as there hasn't been an overall increase in teenagers caught drink driving.

But the Automobile Association says given there are 173,000 licenced teenage drivers, the number caught drink driving since August appears high.

He says more needs to be done to get the zero alcohol message out.