About Alcohol

Select section:

Wondering what the laws are around using alcohol?

Alcohol is legal to buy, drink and make in New Zealand if you are over 18. You can bring alcohol from overseas into New Zealand, but there are limits on this. If you want to import alcohol in larger amounts, you must apply to do this through Customs. To sell alcohol, you must apply for a licence under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, but you can give alcohol to others who are over 18.

Some areas across New Zealand have a liquor ban, which means you cannot drink alcohol in public areas. If you are found to be drinking in these places, you can be fined or arrested by Police. Drivers aged 20 and under are not allowed to drink any alcohol and drive (you must have a blood alcohol level of zero). If you are over 20, the limit is 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, and the blood alcohol limit is 50 milligrams per 100 ml of blood. If you are found to have levels that are over these limits when you are driving, you can be charged by Police with driving under the influence.

It is also illegal to buy alcohol for people under 18 (minors) or sell it to them unless you are their parent or guardian. If you are caught doing this, you can be fined by Police. If you work for a place that sells alcohol (like a supermarket or a bar), there are larger penalties for this. You can also be fined if you are caught buying alcohol and you are under 18, having a fake ID or drinking in a public area if you are under 18 and not accompanied by a parent or guardian.

To find out more about the law around legal and controlled drugs, including alcohol, see Drugs and the law.

Related stories

Dylan's Story

"My passion for music was kind of going down, and that's when I knew, like, will I ever get it back?"
Dylan shares his experience finding his passion for music again.

Popping the bubble: Quick tips if you're choosing to use drugs in Level 2

It can be a bit weird adjusting back to life outside your bubble, so we’ve pulled togther a few key tips to help you out if you choose to use drugs.

Calling an ambulance during lockdown - advice from a paramedic

Wondering what happens if you need an ambulance during lockdown? Blake Murray from St John answers your questions.

Find another drug