The change came into effect yesterday (1 December)

The change came into effect yesterday (1 December)

New laws on drink-driving have come into force in New Zealand. 

As of yesterday, the legal limit for drivers aged 20 and over is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml blood, down from the previous level of 80mg. The limit for drivers under 20 years old remains zero. 

New Zealand's Transport Agency has launched a public information campaign about the changes, including TV, radio and outdoor advertising.

Ernst Zöllner, the agency's road safety director said: “Drink-driving inflicts a huge amount of pain and suffering on New Zealand families and communities, and this change sends a very clear message to those who would put others at risk by driving while affected by alcohol – if you’re going to drink, don’t drive, and, if you’re going to drive, don’t drink.” 

The change brings New Zealand into line with many European countries. Scotland is also set to lower its drink-drive limit to the same level by the end of this year. However, England and Wales' drink-drive limit remains at the 80mg level after ministers in Westminster rejected a government-commissioned report recommending a cut in 2011.