Driving

Drink driving among Indigenous Australians in outer regional and remote communities and development of a drink driving program: A summary of findings and recommendations

Drink driving is a leading cause of criminal justice system contact for Indigenous Australians. National and state strategies recommend Indigenous road safety initiatives are warranted. However, there is sparse evidence to inform drink driving-related preventive and treatment measures. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, the study examines the profile of Queensland’s Indigenous drink drivers using court convictions and identifies the contributing psycho-social, cultural and contextual factors through qualitative interviews.

Development of a drink driving program for regional and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

The majority of Indigenous fatal road injuries are sustained by road users in regional and remote areas, whereby a strong association between alcohol and serious and fatal non-metropolitan road crashes has been established. Moreover, Indigenous Australians are overrepresented in drink driving arrests generally and in drink driving recidivism rates. While national and state transport agencies recommend better countermeasures to reduce risky driving practices among Indigenous road users, there is sparse evidence to inform new treatment measures. The project is comprised of three independent but linked stages of quantitative and qualitative research. Analysis of drink driving convictions (2006-2010) in Queensland, identified drink driving convictions were more predominant in rural and remote areas. Qualitative interviews were conducted with participants residing in Cairns and Cape York region in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Unique risk factors associated with drink driving in the Indigenous context were identified, including kinship pressure and alcohol restrictions. Based on the findings from the two phases, a four session program for regional and remote Indigenous communities was developed. The program, one of first of its kind in Australia, was trialled in three communities. Focus groups and interviews were conducted at the completion of the program to determine short-term perceptions of the content and delivery suitability as well as program recommendations. The program has the ability to be an effective treatment option as part of a community-based sentencing option and assist in reducing drink driving in Indigenous Australian regional and remote communities. Program recommendations and other policy considerations to reduce drink driving in Indigenous communities are discussed.

Evaluation of the deterrent effect of Random Breath Testing (RBT) and Random Drug Testing (RDT) - The driver's perspective

The evaluation involved a mixed methodology, where review and a qualitative component guided the development of a survey to assess the deterrent effect of random breath testing (RBT) and random drug testing (RDT), and a quantitative component measured the influence of various law enforcement practices on a driver’s decision to drink/drug drive. In order to ascertain aspects of law enforcement practice that have the greatest deterrence value to drivers, analysis on Australia-wide data was performed. The project focused on identifying which law enforcement practices have the greatest deterrent effect on drivers who consume alcohol and/or drugs, and who indicate they are likely to drink drive and/or drug drive in the future from the driver’s perspective.

Law enforcement and khat: An analysis of current issues

"Khat" refers to the leaves of the Catha edulis tree. While khat has been chewed for centuries by people in countries in the Horn of Africa region for its stimulant properties, in recent years its use in Australia has increased as more people from the region, particularly Somalia, have settled here. Drawing on focus groups conducted with over one hundred Somali and Ethiopian people in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and on interviews with police service / force employees in those states, we examine current issues associated with the use and regulation of the plant and problems for law enforcement.