Results of the Queensland 2007-2012 roadside drug testing program : the prevalence of three illicit drugs

Davey, Jeremy, Armstrong, Kerry, & Martin, Peter (2014) Results of the Queensland 2007-2012 roadside drug testing program : the prevalence of three illicit drugs. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 65, pp. 11-17.

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The purpose of this investigation is to present an overview of roadside drug driving enforcement and detections in Queensland, Australia since the introduction of oral fluid screening. Drug driving is a problematic issue for road safety and investigations of the prevalence and impact of drug driving suggest that, in particular, the use of illicit drugs may increase a driver’s involvement in a road crash when compared to a driver who is drug free. In response to the potential increased crash involvement of drug impaired drivers, Australian police agencies have adopted the use of oral fluid analysis to detect the presence of illicit drugs in drivers. This paper describes the results of roadside drug testing for over 80,000 drivers in Queensland, Australia, from December 2007 to June 2012. It provides unique data on the prevalence of methamphetamine, cannabis and ecstasy in the screened population for the period. When prevalence rates are examined over time, drug driving detection rates have almost doubled from around 2.0% at the introduction of roadside testing operations to just under 4.0% in the latter years. The most common drug type detected was methamphetamine (40.8%) followed by cannabis (29.8%) and methamphetamine/cannabis combination (22.5%). By comparison, the rate of ecstasy detection was very low (1.7%). The data revealed a number of regional, age and gender patterns and variations of drug driving across the state. Younger drivers were more likely to test positive for cannabis whilst older drivers were more likely to test positive for methamphetamine. The overall characteristics of drivers who tested positive to the presence of at least one of the target illicit drugs are they are likely to be male, aged 30-39 years, be driving a car on Friday, Saturday or Sunday between 6:00PM and 6:00AM and to test positive for methamphetamine.

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7 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 65578
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: drug driving, roadside drug testing, enforcement
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.12.007
ISSN: 1879-2057
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
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 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Accident Analysis & Prevention. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Accident Analysis & Prevention, [VOL 65, (2014)] DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.12.007
Deposited On: 23 Dec 2013 23:44
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2015 05:50

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