What should we do with the drunken driver early in the morning

The substantial reduction in road crash deaths and particularly alcohol related road crash deaths in Australia in recent decades represents a major advance with considerable health, social and economic national benefits. However, alcohol related road trauma still exacts an unacceptably high toll on the community. Public concern about recidivist drink drivers forces political action which usually takes the form of educational or treatment interventions. However, recidivist drink drivers account for less than 10% of alcohol related road trauma and educational or treatment interventions have been shown repeatedly to be ineffective. Other than licence cancellation, no intervention has been shown to reduce their likelihood of further alcohol impaired driving. The recidivist drink driver represents a criminal justice problem but not a significant public health problem. Efforts to achieve a substantial reduction of alcohol related road trauma should focus on first time offenders who account for the vast majority of road crashes. A decrease in alcohol related road fatalities and severe injuries will be achieved by a reduction in per capita alcohol consumption. Increasing the cost of alcohol by raising excise or decreasing alcohol availability are the most effective measures known to reduce alcohol consumption. Increasing alcohol excise has been demonstrated to reduce alcohol related road fatalities. The major reform required to achieve a substantial and sustained reduction in alcohol related road crashes is to reduce the permissive attitude to drink driving in Australia. This will not be achieved in Australia when all of the major motor sports events in this country are sponsored by the alcohol beverage industry.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 47-50
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the 1992 autumn school of studies on alcohol and drugs, St Vincents Hospital, Melbourne, 20-22 May 1992

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01433561
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 1875271104
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 5:47PM