"They don't Test for it-so I do it": Drug Driving from a User's Perspective

Davey, Jeremy D. & French, Nicole (2002) "They don't Test for it-so I do it": Drug Driving from a User's Perspective. In Mayhew, Daniel R. & Dussault, Claude (Eds.) 16th International Conference on Alcohol and Drug Traffic Safety, T2002, 4-9 August 2002, Montreal, Canada.


The developing but still limited amount of research into drug driving in Australia research has generally been undertaken from a road safety orientation where drug driving is viewed within the broader context of driver behaviour. As a result little knowledge from the field and research discipline of substance use has been transposed into the drug driving area. Such a specific focus preludes the broader behavioural, contextual and cultural issues associated with substance use and in particular the major changes that have occurred over the last five to six years in the culture and incidence of drug use in the Australian population. The relationship between substance use and drug driving itself is a key to understanding the behaviour and developing appropriate policy and interventions. This paper outlines the findings from a series of focused interviews with 211 illicit drug users to provide insights into the culture of drug driving from the user perspective. The paper identifies drug driving as a subset behaviour of drug use where drug driving was not necessarily viewed as deviant behaviour in itself but rather is an outcome of illicit substance us. Drug driving was not of concern for the substance user. In some instances interviewees saw their drug use as enhancing their driving skills and freque3ntly the motor vehicle was viewed as a safe place to use. More alarmingly there was almost universal agreement among interviewees that the likelihood of being caught for drug driving by police was minimal and this perception was reinforced by past experience. Key issues associated with developing contextually appropriate interventions are discussed.

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ID Code: 9365
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: drugs, driving, qualitative
ISBN: 2551215927
Subjects: 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
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 07 Sep 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2011 05:42

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