Who are the real “first offenders”?

Wilson, Hollie, Sheehan, Mary C., & Palk, Gavan R. (2010) Who are the real “first offenders”? In International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference (T2010), 22 - 26 August 2010, Oslo, Norway.

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Drink driving causes more fatal crashes than any other single factor on Australian roads, with a third of crashes having alcohol as a contributing factor. In recent years there has been a plateau in the numbers of drink drivers apprehended by RBT, and around 12% of the general population in self report surveys admit to drinking and driving. There is limited information about the first offender group, particularly the subgroup of these offenders who admit to prior drink driving, the offence therefore being the “first time caught”. This research focuses on the differences between those who report drink driving prior to apprehension for the offence and those who don’t. Methods: 201 first time drink driving offenders were interviewed at the time of their court appearance. Information was collected on socio-demographic variables, driving behaviour, method of apprehension, offence information, alcohol use and self reported previous drink driving. Results: 78% of respondents reported that they had driven over the legal alcohol limit in the 6 months prior to the offence. Analyses revealed that those offenders who had driven over the limit previously without being caught were more likely to be younger and have an issue with risky drinking. When all variables were taken into account in a multivariate model using logistic regression, only risky drinking emerged as significantly related to past drink driving. High risk drinkers were 4.8 times more likely to report having driven over the limit without being apprehended in the previous 6 months. Conclusion: The majority of first offenders are those who are “first time apprehended” rather than “first time drink drivers”. Having an understanding of the differences between these groups may alter the focus of educational or rehabilitation countermeasures. This research is part of a larger project aiming to target first time apprehended offenders for tailored intervention.

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ID Code: 40063
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: Drink driving, RBT
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
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
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 The Authors
Deposited On: 14 Feb 2011 22:59
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2011 15:01

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