ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

THE IMPACT OF ALCOHOL IGNITION INTERLOCKS ON A GROUP OF RECIDIVIST DRINK DRIVERS

Freeman, James, Liossis, Poppy

Drink/Drug Driving

2002

A trial of court mandated alcohol ignition interlocks is currently being implemented in South-East Queensland. The study aims to determine whether the device in combination with a drink driving rehabilitation program is more effective than the rehabilitation program alone in reducing drink driving recidivism. This paper focuses on participants? self-reported perceptions and experiences of using interlocks. Data was collected through structured interviews with participants on five occasions while they were on the trial. Initial findings regarding the impact of interlocks on convicted offenders? drinking, driving and drink driving behaviour(s) will be reported. The reliability of the self-report data will be reviewed in comparison to the downloaded interlock recordings, and the group?s perceptions regarding the purpose and effectiveness of interlocks as a sentencing option are examined. Although a very small sample size of nine participants makes firm conclusions difficult, early results indicate successful interlock operation to be associated with both a willingness and ability to be able to reduce drinking levels. A major limitation of the study has been the small number of offenders recruited to the trial through the courts.