Driver Impairment (Completed)

To better understand issues associated with impaired driving, the AA Research Foundation commissioned RIDNZ (Researching Impaired Driving in New Zealand) to examine the Ministry of Justice records on impaired driving offences and uptake of alcohol interlocks. 

Phase One - Recidivist Drink Drivers

This research project looked into the characteristics of recidivist drink-drivers.

The research found that over half the drink-drivers caught in recent years had previous convictions.

Read the research report:

Drink/Drug Driving Data 2009-2012 and Preliminary Report on Interlock Uptake in New Zealand.


Phase Two - Use of Alcohol Interlocks

Alcohol interlocks (in-car breath testing equipment that disables a vehicle if alcohol is detected) became a sentencing option in September 2012. Repeat drink drivers (2+ offences within 5 years) and people caught at double the alcohol limit (0.16 BAC) can be given an interlock sentence by a judge. The offender is usually required to pay the costs of about $2500 a year for the interlock.

This research project examined the use of alcohol interlocks as a sentencing option one year after they were enabled in legislation.

Read the research report:

The New Zealand Alcohol Interlock Program: A review of the first year as a sentencing option for high risk drivers.

This project was instigated to contribute to the Ministry of Transport's review of impaired driving penalties (including interlocks).


AA position on drink driving

Read about the AA's views on recidivist drink drivers and use of alcohol interlocks:

AA policy on drink driving

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