Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Bill to lower drink drive limits pulled

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

A member's bill which would reduce the amount of alcohol New Zealanders could legally drink before driving has been pulled from the ballot today.

Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway's Land Transport (Safer Alcohol Limits for Driving) Amendment Bill was one of two bills added to Parliament's workload.

It would lower the allowable blood alcohol content (BAC) for adults from 0.08g per 100ml to 0.05g per 100ml.

The bill's policy statement said: "There is demonstrable evidence and research already available which shows enough driver impairment between the proposed 0.05 limit and the 0.08 limit to warrant action. A drug and alcohol expert from the United Kingdom has estimated that this measure could reduce our road toll by two-thirds as it would alter driver behaviour."

Government was already reviewing New Zealand's drink-drive limits, which were among the highest in the world.

A study which counted how many injuries and deaths were caused by drivers who had a BAC between 0.05g and 0.08g was expected to come before Cabinet at the end of this year.

The second bill to be pulled from the ballot was former Labour leader David Shearer's Education (Food in Schools) Amendment Bill.

It would make food in schools available to all decile 1 to 3 primary and intermediate schools. The scheme could be expanded to more schools if funding was available.

The preamble to the legislation said: "This Bill is intended to be permissive rather than prescriptive. It provides for schools to be eligible for assistance from designated food in school providers on the basis of indicators of need that the Ministry will be responsible for specifying."

Labour MP Maryan Street's member's bill, which would have legalised euthanasia, has been removed from the ballot.

Ms Street confirmed this morning that she had dropped the bill.

It is believed that her party encouraged her to remove it from the ballot out of concern that it could be a negative distraction during election year.

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