Detecting drug driving: A study of random roadside drug testing in Australia

Freeman, James E. & Davey, Jeremy D. (2008) Detecting drug driving: A study of random roadside drug testing in Australia. In 9th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, 15-18 March 2008, Merida, Mexico. (Unpublished)

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Objective. Police Services in a number of Australian states and overseas jurisdictions have begun to implement or consider random road-side drug testing as a method to apprehend drugged drivers. This paper outlines research conducted to provide an estimate of the extent of drug driving in a sample of Queensland drivers. Material and methods. Oral fluid samples and self-reported data were collected from 2657 Queensland motorists who volunteered to participate in the study after proceeding from a Random Breath Test site (RBT). Illicit substances were screened using the Cozart® RapiScan oral fluid drug test device and included cannabis (delta 9 tetrahydrocannibinol [THC]), amphetamine type substances, heroin and cocaine. Results. Overall, 3% of the sample (n=80) screened positive for at least one illicit substance, although multiple drugs were identified in a sample of 29 respondents. The most common drugs detected in oral fluid were methamphetamine (n=43), cannabis (delta 9 THC) (n=36) followed by amphetamine (n=26). A key finding was that a comparison between drug vs drink driving detection rates for the study revealed a higher detection rate for drug driving (3%) vs drink driving (0.8%). Furthermore, cannabis was 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. Discussion and conclusions. 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 that aims to both apprehend and deter the offending behaviour.

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ID Code: 13236
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Only the abstract has been published in the Abstracts of the 9th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion. No paper was prepared for this conference.
Additional URLs:
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 2008 (The authors)
Deposited On: 08 Apr 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:57

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