From yesterday it became illegal for a driver under 20 to drink any alcohol and drive. Up until now there have been different limits for youths and adults.
"The new law definitely takes away the confusion. There is a culture of drinking out there and young people do drink and drive but many get confused about the youth limit," said Alana van Bergenhenegouwen, from Whangarei Girls' High School's Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD).
"Hopefully, delaying the age they can drink and drive will help [young drivers] get into the habit of never doing it. This will add to the education and awareness that already exists."
The SADD organisation has used the law change as a theme for its awareness week which starts today: "Be a Zero Hero".
Young drivers are over-represented in all key statistics relating to drink-driving. Even at the former youth limit, 15-19 year old drivers were 15 times more likely to die in a road crash than a sober driver aged 30-plus, national SADD executive officer Anna Reid said. "For 25 years SADD students have been educating young people to realise that even one drink is one too many.