A new program which aims to prevent drink drivers from re-offending is about to be trialled in Cairns and Brisbane.
The program, called ‘Steering Clear’, is an online intervention program developed by the Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRS-Q).
From May, 100 first-time drink-driving offenders with a blood-alcohol content reading below 0.15 will be invited to take part in the program, designed to educate on the potential consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Steering Clear is largely a theory-based program, which also aims to inform drinkers of other dangers associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
A mobile phone app forms part of the program, allowing users to track their alcohol intake to avoid driving while over the limit.
"As a tailored intervention, it provides different levels of intervention to drink drivers based on their level of risk," CARRS-Q’s Dr Hollie Wilson said.
"It allows participants to build personalised plans for the future and to prevent them from further drink driving convictions.”
Dr Wilson said the program equips users with the knowledge and skill to avoid drink driving, and a successful trial could see the program expand across Australia and overseas.
Around 25,000 drink driving offences are recorded each year in Queensland alone, and Dr Wilson said many of those are repeat offenders.
As part of a study, 200 first-time drink drivers were interviewed with the majority stating that they did not intend to re-offend. But six months later, 27 percent admitted to driving while over the limit.
While 27 percent admitted to the practice, only 7.3 percent had been caught a second time, showing that while many re-offend almost immediately after being caught for the first time, few are subjected to further punishment.
The study found those who avoided drink driving after their first offence had a generally lower intake of alcohol and drugs, along with a better plan as to how they would manage future alcohol intake.
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