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Drink driving among Indigenous people in Far North Queensland and northern New South Wales: A summary of the qualitative findings

Fitts, M, Palk, G (Peer reviewed)

Drink Driving

ARSC conference 2015


Purpose: In response to the threat that drink drivers pose to themselves and others, drink driving programs form an important part of a suite of countermeasures used in Australia and internationally. Unlike New Zealand/Aotearoa, United States and Canada that have programs catering for their First Peoples, all Australian programs are designed for the general driver population. The aim of this study was to identify the factors that contribute to Indigenous drink driving in order to inform appropriate recommendations related to developing a community-based program for Indigenous communities. Broader drivers licensing policy recommendations are also discussed._x000D_

Methods: A sample of 73 Indigenous people from Queensland and in New South Wales with one or more drink driving convictions completed a semi-structured interview in respect of the to their drink driving behaviour. Participants were asked to disclose information regarding their drink driving history, and alcohol and drug use. If participants self-reported no longer drink driving, they were probed about what factors had assisted them to avoid further offending._x000D_

Results: Key themes which emerged to maintain drink driving include motivations to drink and drive, and belief in the ability to manage the associated risks. Factors that appeared to support others from avoiding further offending include re-connecting with culture and family support._x000D_

Conclusions and Implications: A range of recommendations regarding delivery and content of a program for regional and remote communities as well as other policy implications are discussed. _x000D_