Trends in impaired driving in Australia in 2010 : a status report

Faulks, Ian, Irwin, Julia, Watson, Barry C., & Sheehan, Mary C. (2010) Trends in impaired driving in Australia in 2010 : a status report. In International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference (T2010), 22 - 26 August 2010, Oslo, Norway.

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This paper reviews the status of alcohol, drugs and traffic safety in Australia, with particular emphasis on developments in the period 2008-2010. Australian jurisdictions have made impressive improvements in road safety since the early 1970s. Enforcement and public education campaigns that specifically target drink driving have been successful, with resultant long-term reduction in alcohol-related fatalities. There is a high level of community disapproval of drink driving and strong support for countermeasures. Many best-practice countermeasures targeting impaired driving are in place, including general prevention/ deterrence programs such as random breath testing (RBT), random roadside drug testing legal alcohol limits, responsible service of alcohol programs, public education and advertising campaigns and designated driver programs, and offender management programs such as driver licensing penalties and fines, alcohol ignition interlocks and vehicle impoundment for high risk drink drivers, and offender education programs. There continue to be enhancements occurring, particularly in the areas of drug-impaired driving and offender management, but also in addressing the fundamental policy and legislative framework to address impaired driving (e.g., a current national debate about lowering the permissible blood alcohol for all drivers from 0.05 to 0.02 or 0.00 gm/100 ml BAC). However, there are major challenges that may be impacting on programs targeting impaired driving, including the rapid development of a binge drinking culture among young Australians, the extension of trading hours of licensed premises, continued problems with secondary supply of alcohol to minors, and increases in the marketing of alcopops and ready-to-drink spirit-based beverages. This paper addresses the question: Are impaired driving countermeasures in Australia continuing to achieve reductions in road traumas and rates of offending, or are they plateauing? If they are plateauing, is this due to declining effectiveness of countermeasures or the need to ‘hold the line’ against societal influences encouraging impaired driving?

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ID Code: 40072
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: impaired driving
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
Deposited On: 14 Feb 2011 22:17
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2014 00:11

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