Random roadside drug testing: A study into the prevalence of drug driving in a sample of Queensland motorists

Davey, Jeremy D. & Freeman, James E. (2007) Random roadside drug testing: A study into the prevalence of drug driving in a sample of Queensland motorists. In 14th International Conference of Road Safety on Four Continents, 14th International Conference of Road Safety on Four Continents, Bangkok, Thailand.


There is a more recent version of this eprint available. Click here to view it.

PDF (62kB)


Random road-side drug testing is becoming increasingly prevalent in a number of Australian states and overseas jurisdictions. This paper outlines research conducted to provide an estimate and comparison of the extent of drug driving in a sample of Queensland drivers in regional and metropolitan areas. Oral fluid samples were collected from 781 drivers who volunteered to participate at Random Breath Testing (RBT) sites in a large Queensland regional area. Illicit substances tested for included cannabis (delta 9 tetrahydrocannibinol [THC]), amphetamine type substances, heroin and cocaine. Drivers also completed a self-report questionnaire regarding their drug-related driving behaviour. Samples that were drug-positive at initial screening were sent to a government laboratory for confirmation. Oral fluid samples from 27 participants (3.5%) were confirmed positive for at least one illicit substance. The most common drugs detected in oral fluid were cannabis (delta 9 THC) (n = 13) followed by amphetamine type substances (n = 11). A key finding was that cannabis was also confirmed as the most common self-reported drug combined with driving and that individuals who tested positive to any drug through oral fluid analysis were also more likely to report the highest frequency of drug driving. Furthermore, a comparison between drug vs drink driving detection rates for the study period revealed a higher detection rate for drug driving (3.5%) vs drink driving (0.8%). This research provides evidence that drug driving is relatively prevalent on Queensland roads, and may in fact be more common than drink driving. The paper will further outline the study findings and present possible directions for future drug driving research.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

400 since deposited on 10 Jan 2008
8 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 11583
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the publisher's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Alcohol Use, Drug Use, Drink Driving, Drug Driving
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 10 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:37

Available Versions of this Item

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page