8 Jun 2017

Drink-driving numbers plummet

6:58 pm on 8 June 2017

The number of people convicted for drink-driving has nearly halved in the last seven years.

A police officer directing traffic at an alcohol check point.

The drop in drink driving convictions reflects a better understanding among the public of the dangers of drink driving, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

More than 30,000 New Zealanders were convicted of drink-driving offences in 2009 - last year it was less than 16,000.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the reduction in charges and convictions reflected a better understanding among the public of the dangers.

"It is particularly encouraging to see fewer young people being charged with and convicted of drink-driving.

Since 2009, the number of convictions among people under 25 has dropped 60 percent to 5236 in 2016," Ms Adams said.

However, Ms Adams said alcohol was still a major factor in many fatal accidents.

"Research shows that at 250 micrograms per litre of breath, the current legal limit for drivers aged 20 and older, you're still twice as likely to have a crash as a driver with zero blood alcohol."

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