The Health Research Council has granted University of Otago researchers just over $1 million to study the effects of new alcohol legislation.
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act has been law since December last year.
A lower blood alcohol limit for drivers aged 20 years and over is expected to be introduced later this year.
The lead investigator for the research, Brett Maclennan, says people and local bodies have said they want more say in where and when alcohol is sold in their communities - and they will look into whether that's working.
Mr Maclennan says they will also examine how rates of assaults and alcohol-related traffic crashes change.