Almost two-thirds of New Zealanders support lowering the drink-driving limit, a survey has revealed.

The Colmar-Brunton poll, commissioned by One News, comes two weeks after the Government decided not to cut the amount of alcohol adults are allowed before they can drive.

It also follows a Weekend Herald experiment which showed a male photographer was able to drink nine bottles of beer and a female reporter five 100ml glasses of wine and legally drive home, despite feeling drunk.

Alcohol watchdogs, who two weeks ago called the Government "gutless" for not reducing the limit from 0.08g of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 0.05g, last night said the survey reflected public opinion and it was time the Government did something to recognise it.

The poll showed that 64 per cent of New Zealanders supported lowering the drink-driving limit.

But Transport Minister Steven Joyce has said he needs more public support and research into whether drivers with a level between 0.05g and 0.08g are involved in many crashes.

He has said it will be two years before any decisions are made.

Alcohol Healthwatch director Rebecca Williams said last night that that was not good enough.

Between 14 and 33 lives could be saved every year if the limit was lowered, she said, and she renewed her calls for the Government to make the change.

"If we can save that many lives, that's getting close to a third of the alcohol road toll. We've got this potential through this one simple measure to save these lives. It seems like a no-brainer."

She said a Ministry of Transport survey on attitudes to road safety showed as many as 85 per cent of New Zealanders supported being restricted to one or two drinks before driving.

"Our current limit is six to eight drinks, potentially, in the system before driving. Eighty-five per cent of New Zealanders clearly don't think that's safe."

Labour Party chief whip Darren Hughes has drafted a member's bill to lower the adult drink-driving limit to 0.06mg. The House will not get to debate it, however, unless it is drawn from the ballot of members' bills.

"I'm kind of playing the lottery," he said,"but there's already really strong support for it in Parliament."

Mr Hughes said he drafted the bill after the decision not to lower the limit.

"The current limit is so high your judgment is affected at the very point you have to decide if you are impaired enough to stop driving."

He said he hoped politicians would "put aside their party differences and work together on issues of road safety. This is an issue above party politics."

Prime Minister John Key said at his post-Cabinet press conference yesterday that drink-driving issues were usually dealt with by conscience votes, which means MPs can make up their own minds on the way they vote, free from instruction from their party.

"I know there's a wide range of views within our caucus."

Professor Doug Sellman of the National Addiction Centre at Otago University said the Government needed to increase the price of alcohol, lower the limit and change marketing and advertising if it wanted to change the country's binge-drinking culture.

- additional reporting: NZPA