Police have opted to stop organised breathtesting checkpoints in a bid to protect staff and others during the coronavirus pandemic.

But police are warning the measure doesn't mean New Zealanders will get away with drink-driving, and are urging motorists to do their bit during the crisis.

New Zealand has 39 confirmed cases of the virus, prompting the Government to ban gatherings of 100 or more people at indoor events and Auckland Council to shut its art galleries, pools and libraries.

A police spokesperson said they were continually reviewing their operational practices and approach to response to Covid-19, of which breath testing had been a part.


The health and safety of police staff and communities was paramount, so police would no longer be running organised drink-driving checkpoints in an effort to help reduce the potential spread of Covid-19, the spokesperson said.

Police across the country would continue to breath test drivers and riders who were pulled over by officers and impairment was suspected.

That would now be done by using tubes people blow into, as opposed to drivers talking into the device.

Police say this will help reduce the potential for the virus to spread.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise how you can use these simple daily precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Video / CDC

"Drink driving is never okay and will continue to be policed on an anywhere and anytime approach," the spokesperson said.

"Don't put yourself or any other person on the road at risk. Drive sober and stay safe.

"Our priority is to keep our roads safe right now and help reduce the pressure on hospitals."

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied