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Immediate licence suspension to deter high-risk behaviours.

Soole, D, Haworth, N, Watson, B (Peer reviewed)

Driver Risk & Behaviour

ACRS conference 2008

Immediate licence suspension, commonly referred to as administrative licence suspension in North America, is an increasingly common sanction used in a number of Australian jurisdictions. While differences exist in the way this sanction is applied across jurisdictions, it essentially involves the immediate suspension of the licence following detection by the police for certain offences. Typically the sanction has been used as a response to high-level drink driving offences. A review of the empirical evidence suggests strong support for the effectiveness of administrative licence suspension laws. The laws have been found to have both a general and specific deterrent effect. Specifically, introduction of the laws has been found to be associated with reductions in fatal and injurious crashes, both overall and alcohol related, as well on a number of measures often used as a proxy for alcohol-related crashes including night-time crashes, single-vehicle crashes, and crashes among younger drivers Furthermore, the laws have shown evidence of motivating behaviour change among drink driving offenders, with substantial reductions in drink driving recidivism and self-reported impaired driving, particularly when combined with alcohol treatment programs. Options for future expansion of the laws to other offence types including high-range speeding and dangerous driving offences and more widespread implementation of the laws throughout jurisdictions are explored.