Publications (2)0 Total impact
ABSTRACT: On February 12, 2001, the first Australian Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program to be administered through the judicial system was launched in Queensland. Previous government trials of the use of Interlocks have been undertaken in South Australia and New South Wales and focused, primarily, on administration and technical issues to determine the viability of interlocks as a sentencing option. To date, South Australia is the only state that has Interlock-specific legislation while Victoria is currently drafting such legislation. The preferred program model in both states involves the transport authority as the entity responsible for program delivery/regulation.
In Queensland, the Interlock Program forms part of a probation order offered to repeat (drink-driving) offenders. Framed within existing provisions in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, the Interlock probation order (referred to as Under the Limit 2) has two components. The order requires the offender to (a) undertake a drink driving education course (Under the Limit) during the period of licence suspension and, on re-licensing, (b) drive only an Interlock-fitted vehicle for a period of time specified by the Magistrate.
The Queensland Interlock program is a secondary prevention measure combining both a Case Management and a driver control approach. The Case Management component (involving Under the Limit and Community Corrections supervision) seeks to address offending attitudes and behaviour while the Interlock component operates as a control on driving behaviour. In addition, the Interlock component provides the offender with an opportunity to apply insights and strategies gained from the Under the Limit course to the driving context.
Initially, the Queensland Program is restricted to specific courts in the greater Brisbane area while it is subject to a three-year process and outcome evaluation study conducted by Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety (CARRS-Q). Thus, Magistrates in certain South-East Queensland courts now have, in addition to the usual penalties of fines, license suspension and imprisonment, an additional option when sentencing a drink-driving offender.
To come this far in the implementation of a judicial Interlock Program, CARRS-Q has worked closely for over two years with a multi-sectoral team to develop the necessary frameworks and protocols. The team has included Dräger Australia Pty Ltd and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission as industry partners, a number of government agencies and statutory bodies (including Corrections, Transport, Police, Justice and Attorney General) and a peak motoring consumer body (RACQ). The breadth of collaboration reflects the scope of issues that need to be addressed in developing and implementing an Interlock Program.
ABSTRACT: The present study examined the prevalence of drug driving in a sample of Queensland drivers. Oral fluid samples were collected from 276 drivers who volunteered to participate at Random Breath Testing (RBT) sites in the area of the Gold Coast, Queensland. Illicit substances tested for included cannabis (delta 9 tetrahydrocannibinol [THC]), ecstasy (MDMA), amphetamines and cocaine. Drivers also completed a self-report questionnaire regarding their drug-related driving behaviour. Oral fluid samples from 9 participants (3.3%) were found to be positive for at least one illicit substance. The most common drugs detected in oral fluid were cannabis (n = 6) followed by amphetamines (n = 3). A key finding was that cannabis was also confirmed as the most common self-reported drug combined with driving and that individuals who tested positive to any drug through oral fluid analysis were also more likely to report the highest frequency of drug driving. This research provides preliminary evidence that drug driving may be relatively prevalent on Queensland roads. This paper will further outline the major findings of the study and present possible directions for future drug driving research.