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Developing a model for a randomised trial of alcohol ignition interlocks in Queensland

By Mary C. Sheehan, Cynthia C. Schonfeld, Barry C. Watson, Mark J. King and Victor Siskind


This study reports a trial of an extension of the "Under the Limit" Drink Driving Rehabilitation program (UTL) to include ignition interlocks which commenced in February 2001. The task of implementation has been extremely complex and required policy advice and decision support from senior staff on issues such as administrative requirements associated with licensing and offence data, policing, implications for the offender's vehicle insurance, civil liberties and equity issues, and advice on sentencing options and offender supervision. It is considered both impractical and unacceptable for offenders in each court to be randomly allocated to the trial and the solution was to randomly allocate courts to the intervention or control groups, rather than offenders. The current trial aims to establish if it is possible to achieve reduced recidivism, including post interlock reductions, by using associated systematic rehabilitation and probation with the use of the interlocks. This model builds on latest international research findings and the work on barriers to the use of interlocks identified in other states in Australia. The importance of trying to implement the interlock in such a way that a sustained reduction in recidivism can be achieved has been a major focus of the project. The model that has been accepted for the current trial has an initial period of full licence disqualification during which time the UTL rehabilitation program is completed, followed by interlock installation with no additional restrictions. There are a number of issues that need to be addressed if interlocks were to be implemented beyond the trial and to move beyond the current limited take up rates

Topics: 150703 Road Transportation and Freight Services, 111716 Preventive Medicine, 010400 STATISTICS, drink driving, alcohol ignition interlocks, recidivism
Publisher: Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Year: 2002
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