The characteristics of young Indigenous drink drivers in Queensland, Australia

Michelle S. Fitts, Gavan R. Palk, Alexia J. Lennon, Alan R. Clough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study investigates the prevalence and characteristics of first drink driving convictions among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians (aged from 14 to 24) and considers some of the risk factors associated with recidivism. 

Methods: Convictions recorded between 2006 and 2013 were extracted from the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General database. Convictions were regrouped by gender, age, Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia classification, and sentence severity. Chi-square analyses and logistic regression were conducted to identify group differences in offense characteristics for gender and recidivism (recidivists versus nonrecidivists). 

Results: The sample consisted of 1,583 individuals (74.1% males) convicted in the 8-year period. Gender comparisons showed that there was no significant difference in age at time of first offense, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at apprehension, or type of penalty received between males and females. However, males received larger fines and longer periods of license disqualification. Comparisons for reoffending and non-reoffending revealed that males, drivers aged 14–17 years of age and 18 to 20 years of age, and inner regional drivers were more likely to reoffend. 

Conclusions: There were limited differences between females and males or recidivists and nonrecidivists at first conviction. Convictions for drink driving may provide an opportunity for early alcohol intervention with Indigenous young drivers (<20 years) because it is likely to be an individual's first alcohol-related conviction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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