Drink driving offenders in a rural community: A profile of drink driving offenders in regional Queensland
Ferguson, Megan, Schonfeld, Cynthia C., & Sheehan, Mary C. (1999) Drink driving offenders in a rural community: A profile of drink driving offenders in regional Queensland. Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Canberra, ACT.
This study formed part of the evaluation of the "Under the Limit" drink driving rehabilitation program in regional Queensland. Face-to-face interviews were carried out with a sample of 149 offenders on the day they appeared in court on a drink driving charge. The interview schedule included measures identified in the literature as potentially contributing to recidivism – sociodemography,mental health status, alcohol consumption, social support and self-esteem, questions pertaining to knowledge, attitudes and drink driving behaviours, hearing outcomes of the offender’s drink driving court appearance, and prior criminal and traffic history. Overall, the typology of the rural drink driving offender in Central Queensland is similar to typologies found in other jurisdictions. Offenders in this study generally had high BAC readings for their current drink driving offence, and many had an extensive history of criminal and traffic offences. Knowledge of legal BACs was fairly high among offenders, while knowledge of the number of drinks required to place an individual over this legal limit was quite low. Knowledge of the effects that alcohol has on the body was quite poor in some instances. The risk of alcohol problems within the offender sample was high with many offenders being at moderate-to-high risk of alcohol problems. In addition, offenders were more likely to want to change their driving habits as opposed to their drinking habits to avoid future drink driving episodes. In general, the level of social support experienced by offenders was high, with the highest level of support coming from family members.
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