Yes, there are many possible defences available for drink driving charges.
If you are facing a drink driving charge it is wise to immediately enrol in alcohol counselling. This is particularly so where you are facing a third or subsequent charge where the maximum penalty increases from three months imprisonment to two years.
It depends on the level of alcohol.
The criminal drink driving limit for drivers aged over 20 years in New Zealand is 400mg/l of breath alcohol or 80mg/100ml of blood alcohol. If you are found to have an alcohol level above this level, you are looking at receiving a criminal conviction if you plead or are found guilty.
The new lower drink driving limit for drivers aged over 20 years is 250mg/l of breath alcohol or 50mg/100ml of blood alcohol. Drivers with alcohol levels between 251 – 400mg/l or 50 – 80mg/100ml commit an infringement offence. This results in a fine of $200 for breath alcohol or $700 for blood alcohol and 50 demerit points. No conviction is entered.
The penalties for drink driving vary from a fine at one end of the spectrum to imprisonment at the other. Between these ends are community work, supervision (counselling), community detention (curfew and ankle bracelet), intensive supervision (intensive counselling) and home detention (24/7 curfew and ankle bracelet). Mandatory disqualification from driving is also imposed. The penalty depends on a number of factors including whether you have previous drink driving convictions, the level of alcohol in your system and the manner of driving at the time.
You cannot drive for the first month of your disqualification. After this you can drive with the interlock device fitted to your vehicle. This will last for a minimum of 12 months.
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