Random breath tests and their effectiveness revisited. an examination of RBT and alcohol related crash data from 2000-2011 across Australia

In this paper we first provide an examination of RBTs and alcohol related crashes across Australian jurisdictions. We then address the question of whether or not an optimal level of random breath testing exists by examining the relationship between the number of RBTs conducted and the occurrence of alcohol-related crashes over time, across all Australian states. To examine the association between RBT rates and alcohol related crashes and to assess whether an optimal ratio of RBT tests per licenced drivers can be determined we draw on three administrative data sources form each jurisdiction. The data highlights that the Australian story does not reflective of all States and territories. The stable RBT to licenced driver ratio in Queensland (of 1:1) suggests a stable rate of alcohol related crash data of 5.5 per 100,000 licenced drivers. Yet, in South Australia where a relative stable rate of RBT to licenced driver ratio of 1:2 is maintained, the rate of alcohol related traffic crashes is substantially less at 3.7 per 100,000. We use joinpoint regression techniques and varying regression models to fit the data and compare the different patterns between jurisdictions. The results of this study provide an updated review and evaluation of RBTs conducted in Australia and examines the association between RBTs and alcohol related traffic crashes. We also present an evidence base to guide policy decisions for RBT operations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 71-7
  • Monograph Title: 20th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference Proceedings, 25-28 August 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01495640
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2013 10:10AM