We can help you get back on the road.

We can defend your charges.

Drink driving and Traffic Law Expert

Baden Meyer specialises in defending New Zealand traffic law cases brought under the Land Transport Act 1998 with a particularly focus on drink driving offences (excess breath/blood alcohol), careless, dangerous or reckless driving cases and drivers licence issues.

Baden Meyer, barrister has a proven track record of success in representing people charged with drink driving offences. Baden aims to get the best possible outcome and can also assist in obtaining a limited licence if a disqualification is imposed.

Clients should be aware that drink driving is treated seriously in New Zealand. The consequences of having excess breath or blood alcohol levels whilst driving can be severe. A conviction can affect your current and future employment opportunities, your mobility, your finances, your criminal record, your insurance premiums, and possibly your freedom.

Penalties can vary for a transport conviction can vary from a fine and disqualification to a lengthy period of imprisonment.

Being charged with a drink driving offence can be a very traumatic experience. Baden understands that for a lot of people it is their first taste of the criminal justice system and they have no idea what is likely to occur when they attend Court. Baden provides his clients with a sense of security and guides them through the Court process in a calm, professional and measured manner.

For most people, being charged with any offence is traumatic. Being convicted of a traffic offence can cost you your licence, your reputation, your job, your freedom and more.


  • Find a defence to you case and defend your charges
  • Determine if you are eligible for a discharge without conviction (so to keep your record clean with no conviction)
  • Reduce the stress and daunting task of going to Court
  • Reduce the sentence imposed if you are convicted at all (including fines, community work and disqualification periods)
  • Apply for a limited licence (work licence) to get you back on the road and keep your job!
  • Provide you with expert advice, a free and quote, fixed fee options (so you have certainty) and obtain results you expect
  • Help obtain the best possible result considering your circumstances.
  • I can attend drink driving and other traffic charges / cases throughout New Zealand

Drink driving is considered a serious offence by New Zealand courts. The penalties from a conviction vary from a fine and disqualification to imprisonment. The volume of charges we have been dealing in this area continues to increase with more police on our roads and from the recent changes in the law relating to drink driving.

Current legal limits

Drivers under 20 years – zeroThe legal limit for drivers under 20 years of age is a blood/breath concentration of zero.

Drivers over 20 years – 250 mcg breath or 50mg bloodThe legal limit for drivers 20 years of age or over is a blood concentration of 50 milligrams (mg) of alcohol per 100ml of blood or 250 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol per litre of breath.

If a roadside breath screening test shows you have more than 250mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, you will be required to take an evidential breath test (EBT), usually at a police station or booze bus. If the EBT confirms you are over 250mcg, you will be forbidden to drive for up to 12 hours.

Several factors determine how quickly alcohol is absorbed into your system, including body type, gender, weight and food intake. Each situation is different but the law maintains a strict no tolerance stance in relation to drink driving.

If you are caught drink driving, the penalties can be severe. The stress of dealing with the court process can also take a toll on your personal and professional life. This is where we fit in.

Fail an evidential breath test 251-400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, $200 infringement fee + 50 demerit points (no criminal conviction).

Fail an evidential breath test over 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath you will face criminal charges.

Refuse or fail to complete an evidential breath test, or can’t complete it for genuine reasons (such as a medical condition) - You will be required to have an evidential blood test.

Show blood test result of 0-50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - No infringement or criminal charge. You may be liable for costs associated with the blood test.

Show blood test result of 51-80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - Infringement fee of up to $700 + 50 demerit points.

Show blood test result of more than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - you will face criminal charges.

Fail or refuse to permit an evidential blood sample to be taken - If convicted for a first or second offence, you face a fine of up to $4,500, a licence disqualification of at least 6 months and a prison sentence of up to three months. Higher penalties apply for a third or subsequent offence.

If you have been caught drink driving then suspended or disqualified from driving we can work with you to obtain a limited licence. We can advise you if you are eligible to apply and ensure that you get your limited licence granted as quickly as possible. We pride ourselves on ensuring that the licence will be granted in the widest possible terms to ensure you can get back on the road and back to work as soon as possible.

A limited licence is not granted as a right; you must be able to establish and show that hardship will exist if it is not granted. We work with you to ensure all relevant information is provided to the court; so that you can get the licence that suits you rather than a version that is too restrictive for your needs.

In addition to getting the limited licence granted on the terms you need we can also manage the court process so that you can enter a plea at a time suitable to you; if there is a stand down period (as in all drink driving cases) we can work with you to ensure that period happens at a time convenient to your employer or your clients. We have established relationships with both the police and courts all around New Zealand to ensure you control the process.

How a limited licence works

A limited licence is a special work licence that enables you to drive for the necessary hours/distances specific for your employment when you have been disqualified or suspended from driving.

The main reasons the courts approve these types of licences is if we provide information that shows that you or another person would or are likely to face extreme hardship if you are not able to drive. Examples include but are not limited to – the use of a vehicle to perform your role, dependant children or family members, medical issues etc.

To make it easier and faster for you we have an easy to follow online questionnaire. After you complete the questionnaire we will be in contact to either meet with you or discuss the process further over the phone.

Step 1) Contact us and we will assist you in filling out the online questionnaire. Each question needs to be answered honestly and thoroughly – the more information we have the quicker we can make the application.

Step 2) Based on the information you provide, our team will be able to confirm whether you are eligible to apply. At this stage we will send you our terms and conditions and you will confirm that you want us to represent you in the application.

Step 3) We will draft the required documents. This includes preparation of the draft order, the application and affidavits in support. These affidavits will need to be sworn by a Justice of the Peace, lawyer or Court Registrar.

Step 4) We will forward the application to the police on your behalf and negotiate over its contents. We are then told if the application is opposed or not by the police. If it is not opposed, the application is filed and the next available hearing date is set. We will appear in court with you for what is usually a short mandatory appearance.

Time required

There is a mandatory stand down period of 28 days once you have entered a guilty plea for all drink driving charges and some traffic offences.


Every application is different; we can provide you a fixed fee once we know the particulars of your case and the requirements of your limited licence. We pride ourselves on providing expert yet cost-effective representation. Our first consultation is provided free of charge; contact us and we can discuss your case and your needs.

See our “Costs” for more detailed information

You cannot apply for a limited licence if you are

Charged with driving while disqualified,indefinitely disqualified,disqualified as a result of a drink driving charge while operating a transport service vehicle and want to resume driving in that position,disqualified and want to be a driving instructor.

You also cannot apply for a limited licence if you have been convicted of any two of the following offences within 5 years

Dangerous or Reckless driving.Careless driving causing injury or death.Drink driving (breath or blood).Applying for or obtaining a drivers licence when you are disqualified.Failing to stop after an accident.

For many people we deal with, traffic charges are their first experience with the court system. The process can be a stressful and daunting one especially when faced with a criminal conviction.

It is imperative that you seek legal advice as soon as possible to be aware of the range of options available to you. There may be a defence and/or opportunity to negotiate the charges with the police.

We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive oral and written submissions on your behalf to the court. This helps the judge determine the circumstances of the offence(s) and your personal circumstances.

If you are convicted, our team can also assist you in applying for

  • A discharge without conviction (under special circumstances).
  • A limited licence.
  • Special reasons for the court to not impose a disqualification under s81 of the Land Transport Act 1998.

We deal with many different types of both traffic and criminal charges. The most common traffic related charges we are involved with include the following:

  • Careless driving - Careless use of a motor vehicle charges are common. When convicted, if often follows a period of disqualification. Penalties can range from community service and fines to imprisonment if the charge is careless use of a motor-vehicle causing a serious injury or death.
  • Refusing an officer's request for blood
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Driving whilst incapable
  • Dangerous driving - Dangerous driving can carry at least six months disqualification from driving and up to 3 months imprisonment. The maximum fine is $4500.
  • Reckless driving
  • Dangerous driving causing death or injury
  • Driving whilst disqualified - To be convicted for driving while disqualified requires the police to prove that you were driving, that you were previously disqualified and that you knew or ought to know that you were disqualified. Your vehicle will also be impounded for a mandatory period of 28 days
  • Driving whilst suspended
  • Driving contrary to a limited licence
  • Sustained loss of traction - We have had great success in this area!
  • Speeding including unnecessary exhibition of speed.
  • Operating a vehicle in a street race
  • Traffic infringements
  • Log book offences

For every incident, the circumstances are unique and will dictate what course of action the police will take. Likewise, your charge(s) and options you take to deal with them vary the court process.

Our team has dealt with a diverse range of facts and charges. The variety of circumstances has involved processes, procedure and negotiations that have been either short, long, simple, complex, extensive, minor and serious. Because of this, the time in which a case is brought to a conclusion also varies.

The following is a common overview of the process we regularly deal with:

  • Incident occurs.
  • Arrest.
  • Charges laid.
  • Court next day or a court summons is served/received – these are formal documents requiring you to attend Court. Court dates are usually within a 14-day period.
  • Negotiations can take place in regards to the charge(s).
  • First Court appearance. No plea is required as this is usually the time for disclosure (potential evidence) to be provided and legal advice to be sought.
  • Second appearance. Plea of guilty or not guilty is entered:
  • (i) Guilty plea (sentencing follows) OR
  • (ii) Not guilty plea – We ensure that you/we receives all formal witness statements and any remaining disclosure;
  • Case Management hearing; Negotiation of charges – election of trial or withdrawal and/or amendment of charges.
  • Trial (judge alone) or Sentencing
  • Sentencing or withdrawal/acquittal of charges.

What defences are available to Excess Breath/Blood Alcohol (EBA) charges – Drink driving charges?

Many of the defences to excess breath/blood charges were removed by a change in legislation which introduced the term “reasonable compliance” this removed most of the technical defences previously available. However there are still defences available and they can be identified by an expert in this area of law; if there is a defence available in your case, we can identify it and provide you an assessment of your chances at defending the charge

I intend to plead guilty, why should I have Baden Meyer represent me?

Because you should want to achieve the best possible result considering your circumstances. Our role involves much more than simply standing up in court and putting your case forward. There are many ways in which we can help reduce any penalty to be imposed; and to ensure your story is told

This includes:

Supporting you and your family through the court process;Going through your case in detail;Liaising with the court to find appropriate/suitable hearing times;Negotiating with police and probation over charges and outcomes;Assisting with external providers such as rehabilitation services;Making effective and thorough oral submissions to the judge.

I have previous drink driving offences. How does this impact on me?

If you have previous convictions then any penalty imposed will be more serious than before, including possible imprisonment; talk to an expert, get the right lawyer to act in your best interests

I understand that a drink drive charge can result in a criminal conviction. What does this mean for me?

If you are either found guilty or plead guilty to a drink driving charge, you will have a criminal conviction against your record. This can have an impact on your family, employment, insurance, travel options and freedom

Why have I been suspended from driving for 28 days before I have been either found guilty or pleaded guilty to the charge?

If you have either a breath alcohol level reading over 650mcg or a blood alcohol level reading above 200mg you are automatically suspended from driving for 28 days

What are our fees?

Drink Driving Lawyer "Every case is different; we can provide you a fixed fee quote once we know the particulars of your case. We pride ourselves on providing expert yet cost-effective representation. Our first consultation is provided free of charge; contact us and we can discuss your case and your needs

One More Question?

Please use our contact form for any further questions you would like to ask. We will endeavour to get back to you within 12 hours.

We are ON CALL 7 DAYS A WEEK via telephone or contact us through our easy online query forms. Or book an appointment to visit us in our offices.


To ensure quality representation and swift completion of your drink driving or traffic case. To succeed in helping drop or lower your fines, reduce the disqualification period where possible or get your charges dismissed.

  • After a free consultation over the phone or in person, I will discuss your options, go over our costs and develop a tailored strategy for your case.
  • At your first appointment I will review the police disclosure documents with you and check to see if the excess breath/blood alcohol procedure has been followed correctly (find procedural errors/omissions).
  • I will go over the legal/court process and explain to you what I require from you to best help your case.
  • I will then explain the likely process, provide advice and discuss your options moving forward. This may include the likely sentence/penalty you would receive based on what you decide to plead, the strength of any defence identified and/or your options for a discharge without conviction.
  • When you decide to have me represent you can arrange a court date to suit you (if required and suitable for the Court.
  • If you decide to plead guilty I can: Change which Court you attend depending on where you live, arrange a more suitable time for your appearance, meet you and get your case heard quickly to avoid any more embarrassment or stress and provide effective and comprehensive written sentencing submissions on your behalf (especially important if you have been convicted of a similar offence).
  • The next step is the hearing where I will strive to get you the best possible result through clear, effective and expert representation.
  • I can arrange a work licence (limited licence) if you are eligible. That way you will be able to continue to drive and keep you job.
  • I strive to obtain the best possible result for all our clients in every case.

Testimonials (What our client say)

"Thank you! You were there for me at a very hard time and I will never forget it. You and your staff were easy to deal with and kept me informed throughout the court process for my drink driving charge. I cannot thank you enough."

Helen H

"Mr Meyer helped me through my first experience going through the courts for drink driving. I found his professionalism and competence exceeded my expectations. My family and I felt we were in very good hands from day one. Thank you!"

Gavin L

"I am very grateful that I decided to have Mr Meyer represent me. I was caught for drink driving and was facing losing my job as a result. Through hard work and support by Mr Meyer and his team, I was able to avoid a conviction. I would highly recommend your services to anyone I know that needs help."

Steven and Annette I


Baden Meyer attended Otago University graduating with an LLB in 2000. Following his admission as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2002 Baden worked as a member of several litigation teams in various highly regarded New Zealand firms before becoming a member of the independent bar in 2010.

Baden decided to become a barrister and work for himself because he enjoys the client contact and is energised by the challenge of advocating for his clients, whether in negotiation or litigation. Baden is able to keep his finger on the pulse of his clients’ matters at all times, from start to finish.

Contact Us

Baden Meyer - Barrister
Level 5, 43 High Street, Auckland City
PO Box 105-629 Auckland 1143
Phone: 021 02711653
Email: law@badenmeyer.com