New guidelines which aim to educate people about how much they can safely drink before driving in New Zealand have been slammed by a Wellington counsellor.

The guidelines have been produced by Hospitality New Zealand to give the public a ‘rule of thumb’ about how much alcohol they can drink and still remain under the legal limit for driving.

The Hospitality New Zealand website states: “There is no doubt that the introduction of the lowered limits for drink driving in December last year had a major negative impact on a number of hospitality businesses, particularly those who have no alternative transport options.

“It is clear that the public are confused about what the lowered limits mean and what, if anything, they can drink and still drive safely under the limit.”

The guidelines have been criticised by Roger Brooking, who runs an intervention programme for repeat drink-drivers. He says the guidelines are ‘encouraging people to drink and drive’ which goes against all messages put out by police and the NZ Transport Agency.