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Drink driving charges have halved since 2009, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.

Latest drink driving offence figures show the number of people charged in 2016 was 16,304 compared to 31,933 in 2009.

“Almost 16,000 fewer people were charged with drink driving offences in 2016 compared to 2009. That’s a 49 per cent decrease in seven years, reflecting a better understanding by New Zealanders of the dangers of drink driving,” says Ms Adams.

“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 per cent to 5236 in 2016.

“This Government has had a strong focus on reducing drink driving, starting with the Alcohol Reform Bill which saw the biggest changes to alcohol laws in 30 years. The changes included ensuring bars close earlier, limiting alcohol promotions and requiring minors to have a parent’s express consent to drink.”

The Government has also introduced zero alcohol limits for repeat offenders and drivers aged under 20 and run ongoing public awareness campaigns. It has also made alcohol interlocks mandatory for repeat offenders – research shows interlocks reduce the reoffending rate by about 60 per cent.

“We have seen a drop in the number of people facing drink driving charges every year since 2009, but there is still more to do. Alcohol is still a major factor in fatal car crashes – 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.

“Fewer drink driving offences mean safer streets, so we want to ensure that everyone is making the right decisions before getting behind the wheel.”

Number of people charged with and convicted of drink driving offences

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Charges

31,933

29,534

28,010

25,434

23,479

19,634

16,673

16,304

Convictions

30,330

28,164

26,965

24,367

22,558

18,867

16,061

15,750

 

Age distribution of people convicted of drink driving

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

19 years and under

6617

5709

4964

3554

2884

2164

1967

1888

20-24

6398

6159

6092

5647

5045

4021

3336

3348

25-29

4128

3878

3887

3698

3740

3162

2797

2801

30-34

2956

2671

2679

2573

2521

2089

1885

1887

35-39

2751

2583

2384

2218

1988

1709

1443

1360

40-44

2466

2307

2271

2088

1963

1720

1352

1265

45-49

2023

1931

1815

1745

1637

1505

1184

1061

50-54

1331

1328

1228

1247

1210

1077

903

918

55-59

824

835

799

779

770

663

605

556

60-64

516

413

480

462

420

406

325

340

65 years and over

307

341

356

346

376

344

255

320

Unknown

13

9

10

10

4

7

9

6

Total

30330

28164

26965

24367

22558

18867

16061

15750

 

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