Characteristics of alcohol impaired road users involved in casualty crashes
Keywords: Drink Driving
Submission Date: 2012
This presentation reports on the findings of a study of alcohol impaired road users involved in casualty crashes. The study linked data from multiple sources to present a more comprehensive profile of the person, crash and licensing characteristics of a group of 1490 road users admitted to hospital as a result of crash involvement between 2008 and 2010. An alcohol reading was known for 1204 of the 1490 cases. Alcohol impairment was found to be a contributing factor to crash causation in 274 cases, constituting 18.4 per cent of the sample. Close to 20% of participants in the study did not have an alcohol reading available for scrutiny. When only those cases where an alcohol reading was available were examined, it was found that close to 23% of participants were involved in their crash while alcohol impaired. Impairment was found across all road user types but was particularly noted amongst pedestrians (55.8% of pedestrians that were tested) and drivers (24.3% of drivers that were tested). An established diagnosis of alcohol dependence was identified for 146 of the 1490 participants in this study, constituting 9.8%. Indigenous Australians were identified as a vulnerable group found to be at an increased risk of being involved in a crash as the result of alcohol impairment. More than 40 per cent of those participants identified as being alcohol impaired in this study were found to have incurred at least one previous infringement that involved driving with an alcohol level above 0.05gm/100ml and were twice as likely to have had at least one period of licence disqualification when compared with those participants who were not impaired. More than 12% of the alcohol impaired participants had been involved in at least one previous crash whilst intoxicated.