A reminder if you are socialising over the festive season, to please do so responsibly. 

In December 2014, the alcohol limit for drivers aged 20 and over was lowered from 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath to 250mcg. For drivers under 20, the limit is zero. 

If a breath screening test shows you are over the limit, you will be asked to take an evidential breath test. If you fail the test and are within the range of 251-400mcg you will be fined $200 and 50 demerit points. If your breath alcohol reading is over 400mcg, you will face criminal charges. 

If you refuse or fail to take an evidential breath test for genuine reasons, you will be required to have a blood test. If the result is 0-50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood you will not be fined or charged. However, if it falls within 51-80mg you will be fined $700 and 50 demerit points. Anything over 80mg will result in criminal charges. 

If you accumulate 100 or more demerit points from driving offences within two years your driver licence will be suspended for three months. 

Alcohol is a factor in around 30 per cent of New Zealand’s fatal road crashes, claiming around 1000 lives and causing serious injury to a further 5300 over the past decade. 

While the Environmental Science and Research guidelines indicate that most adults may be able to drink two standard drinks over two hours, it’s important to know your own limits. 

Gender, body type, weight and food intake are all factors in how quickly alcohol is absorbed into your system. 

It’s always best to have a plan before you head out. If you are planning to drive, the safest option is to abstain completely.