Drink driving among Indigenous people in Far North Queensland and northern New South Wales: A summary of the qualitative findings

Fitts, Michelle S. & Palk, Gavan R. (2015) Drink driving among Indigenous people in Far North Queensland and northern New South Wales: A summary of the qualitative findings. In Proceedings of the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference, Gold Coast, Qld.


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In response to the threat that drink drivers pose to themselves and others, drink driving programs form an important part of a suite of countermeasures used in Australia and internationally. Unlike New Zealand/Aotearoa, United States and Canada that have programs catering for their First Peoples, all Australian programs are designed for the general driver population. The aim of this study was to identify the factors that contribute to Indigenous drink driving in order to inform appropriate recommendations related to developing a community-based program for Indigenous communities. Broader drivers licensing policy recommendations are also discussed.


A sample of 73 Indigenous people from Queensland and in New South Wales with one or more drink driving convictions completed a semi-structured interview in respect of the to their drink driving behaviour. Participants were asked to disclose information regarding their drink driving history, and alcohol and drug use. If participants self-reported no longer drink driving, they were probed about what factors had assisted them to avoid further offending.


Key themes which emerged to maintain drink driving include motivations to drink and drive, and belief in the ability to manage the associated risks. Factors that appeared to support others from avoiding further offending include re-connecting with culture and family support.

Conclusions and Implications

A range of recommendations regarding delivery and content of a program for regional and remote communities as well as other policy implications are discussed.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 90001
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
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 2015 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 25 Nov 2015 01:52
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2015 01:49

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