Sober drivers must remain completely alcohol-free this festive season, says a charity that works with crash victims.

Road safety charity Brake has appealed to partygoers and organisers to ensure everyone in their group gets to and from celebrations safely.

And they say planning travel and making sure a sober driver is designated, and stays sober, is crucial.

Brake's Not a Drop, Not a Drag campaign urges drivers not to drink any alcohol or take any drugs before getting behind the wheel. The charity also urges family and friends to speak out and stop a loved one driving after drinking or taking drugs.


Ministry of Transport figures show that in 2014, alcohol and or drugs were factors in 62 fatal and over 1000 injury crashes.

Seventy people died and more than 1500 were injured in alcohol and drug-related crashes alone.

"As a charity that supports people bereaved and injured in crashes, we witness the suffering that drink and drug driving inflict, and appeal to everyone to help put a stop to it," said Brake's New Zealand director Caroline Perry.

"Drink and drug driving deaths and injuries are cruel and needless, ending and ruining lives and leaving behind traumatised families to pick up the pieces."

She said it was "vital" that sober drivers took their job seriously because lives were in their hands.

"It's a proven fact that even small amounts of alcohol or drugs inflate your risk of crashing," she said.

"So even if you feel okay after a drink, the reality is that if you get behind the wheel you're putting yourself and others in needless danger."

Ms Perry said statistics showed that drivers with even 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol in their blood.


Even small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times, judgment and co-ordination. Alcohol also makes it impossible for drivers to assess their own impairment because it creates a false sense of confidence and means drivers are more inclined to take risks and believe they are in control when they are not.


Brake is calling on members of the public to play their part in making roads safer by signing Brake's Pledge at, to make a personal commitment to use roads safely and sustainably, and help reduce the lives lost needlessly on our roads.


Brake's key messages on drink driving:

• Never drink any amount of alcohol if you're driving

• Never drink if you're driving early the next morning

• Plan ahead and make sure you can get home safely by using public transport, booking a taxi, or having a sober driver who sticks to soft drinks. Don't accept a lift from someone who has been drinking.

• Take responsibility for others: never buy a drink for someone who is driving, speak out to friends who plan to drink and drive, and if you're hosting a party help your guests to plan a safe way home before the party starts.