Prevalence and characteristics of Indigenous drink-driving convictions in Queensland, Australia

Fitts, Michelle S., Palk, Gavan R., Lennon, Alexia J., & Clough, Alan R. (2013) Prevalence and characteristics of Indigenous drink-driving convictions in Queensland, Australia. Road and Transport Research, 22(2), pp. 40-51.

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Alcohol-involved accidents are one of the leading contributors towards high injury rates among Indigenous Australians. However, there is limited information available to inform existing policies to change current rates. The study aims to provide information about the prevalence and the characteristics of such behaviour. Drink driving convictions from 2006-2010 were extracted from the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General database. Convictions were regrouped by gender, age, Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia classification (using court location) and sentence severity. A number of cross tabulations were carried out to identify relationships between variables. Standardised adjusted residuals were calculated for each cell in order to determine cell differences that contributed to the chi-square test results. Analysis revealed there were 9,323 convictions, of which the majority were for offences by males (77.5%). In relation to age, 52.6% of the convictions were of persons under 25 years of age. Age was significantly different across the five regions for males only (χ2=90.8, p<0.001), with a larger number of convictions in the ‘very remote’ region of persons over 40+ years of age. Increased remoteness was linked with high range BAC convictions for both males (χ2=168.4, p<0.001) and females (χ2=22.5, p=0.004). Monetary penalties were the primary sentence received for both males and females in all regions. The findings identify the Indigenous drink driving conviction rate to be 6 times that of the general Queensland rate and indicate that a multipronged approach is needed, with tailored strategies for remote offenders, young adults and offenders with alcohol misuse and dependency issues. Further attention is warranted in this area of road safety.

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ID Code: 62564
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1017-5783
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 2013 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 16 Sep 2013 22:57
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2013 00:55

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