Evaluation

Evaluating drug law enforcement interventions directed towards methamphetamine in Australia

This study, conducted in 2008 and 2009, sought to provide a rich description of the Australian methamphetamine supply chains and to conduct an economic evaluation of four law enforcement interventions directed at different levels of the methamphetamine market.

Developing the capacity and skills for national implementation of a drug law enforcement performance measurement framework

This report summarises major findings from the second stage of a project to test the feasibility of a model performance measurement framework for Australian drug law enforcement (DLE) agencies and to provide advice on its national implementation.

Developing and implementing a performance measurement framework for drug law enforcement in Australia

This report presents a detailed description of a model process for developing a viable performance measurement framework for drug law enforcement in Australia. It was undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology on behalf of the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund in order to help provide a better accounting for the benefits from the estimated annual $1.4 billion expenditure on drug law enforcement in Australia. In keeping with their overseas counterparts, Australian drug law enforcement agencies have used seizure and arrest data to measure the effectiveness of their work performance for many years. While such measures are simple, visible and well-understood measures of law enforcement effort, they are in many cases ambiguous measures of law enforcement performance. These measures essentially demonstrate the extent to which law enforcement agencies 'engage' in certain types of activities rather than demonstrating the broader 'impacts' of law enforcement work. The performance measurement framework that was developed by this project provides a model framework and development process through which to redress the shortcomings of current drug law enforcement performance measurement practices by including a suite of traditional and more innovative performance measures. This framework has the potential to form the basis of a series of organisationally and jurisdictionally specific performance measurement models, suitably modified to reflect local requirements and available information.

An evaluation of the Standardised Field Sobriety Tests for the detection of impairment associated with cannabis with and without alcohol

Reports indicate that in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia, 23.5% of drivers in fatal accidents had consumed drugs other than alcohol, and that 29.1% of drivers had a Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05% or higher. Alcohol has been detected in combination with drugs in almost 10% of cases. Cannabis was most prevalent among drugs other than alcohol detected in specimens (13.5%). The combination of drugs as an influence on road traffic accidents is becoming a growing concern and research has been conducted to identify how these drugs impair performance. In Victoria, Standardised Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) have been introduced as means of testing for impairment in drivers who have consumed drugs other than alcohol. The use of SFSTs, although designed for the detection of alcohol-intoxicated drivers (up to 0.08%), has been implemented in programs for the detection of drugs other than alcohol. The present study had several aims: to examine the effects of cannabis and cannabis together with alcohol on driving performance; to examine the effects of cannabis and alcohol on SFSTs performance; to examine the efficiency of SFSTs to predict driving performance associated with the administration of cannabis and alcohol; to examine any differences between the effects of cannabis and alcohol on performance in regular cannabis users and non-regular cannabis users; and to examine any differences between SFSTs ratings by researchers and SFSTs ratings by police officers in order to identify the inter-rater reliability of SFSTs.