A bill which would slash the amount of alcohol which can be legally consumed by drivers will come before Parliament after being drawn from the member's ballot.
Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway's Land Land Transport (Safer Alcohol Limits for Driving) Amendment Bill was drawn from 74 members' bills in Parliament this afternoon, along with David Shearer's food in schools bill.
The alcohol legislation proposes to lower the allowable blood alcohol content by almost 40 per cent, from 0.08g to 0.05g per 100mls of blood when driving.
''Drink driving continues to cause fatalities and serious injuries on our roads, with long term emotional or physical trauma to many people and their families each year,'' the explanatory note on the legislation states.
''Despite improving attitudes having had a marked effect on the incidence of drink driving, it remains a significant issue.''
The legislation notes that New Zealand's blood alcohol limit is higher than many other countries, including Australia.
''In order to complement the work the Government is doing with its Safer Journeys road safety strategy, this bill reduces the amount of alcohol adults are able to consume if they wish to drive a vehicle.''
Galloway claims expert advice from Britain has estimated that this measure ''could reduce our road toll by two-thirds as it would alter driver behaviour''.
Police have been pushing for a lower limit.
This month Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff told the law and order select committee that reducing the limit would undoubtedly save lives.
"Research we've seen, has shown that at the limit of around 50mg a lot of people make a decision they're too intoxicated to drive and then don't drive, or they don't drink any more," Cliff said.
"By the time you get to that 80mg limit, people are so affected by alcohol, they think they're OK to drive."
The Green Party has been pushing for the alcohol limit to be lowered for several years.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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