How Nats Will Vote On Booze Laws


National MPs will be able to make their own mind up about what age people should be able to buy booze.
In the forthcoming parliamentary debate and vote on alcohol issues, National MPs can have a conscience vote on the purchase age issue.
But for other aspects of the legislation including drink driving changes, they will have to tow the party line.
The National caucus agreed on:

  • A party vote on the alcohol law reform package, which is due for its first reading before the end of the year
  • A conscience vote on the alcohol purchase age
  • A party vote on all transport legislation designed to reduce the impact of drink driving on our roads

Legislation planned on drink driving involves:

  • A zero drink drive limit for recidivist drink drivers
  • A zero drink drive limit for drivers under 20 years of age
  • Much tougher penalties for serious offences causing death and drink driving causing death
  • The introduction of alcohol interlocks for repeat drink-drivers

The government wimped out of lowering the general blood alcohol limits deciding on more research to determine the level of risk posed by drivers with a blood alcohol limit of between 0.05 and 0.08.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce said once research is complete, the Government will revisit the issue of whether or not the blood alcohol limit should be reduced.

“In the meantime, I stress that 0.08 is not a target. People whose judgement is impaired by alcohol should not be driving regardless of their measured alcohol level - if they are they can be charged with careless or dangerous driving or for being incapable of having proper control of the vehicle.”

It will be up to the caucus of each political party to decide how they will vote on alcohol legislation.

The Government will announce its alcohol reform package shortly,



  1. karl says:

    In all that, there’s the disappointing result that on drink driving, it’s apparently A-OK to go with a party vote on sorely lacking legislation, rather than offend any of the motoring crew. How sad a sight.


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