It depends on where you live, according to a study presented at an international road safety conference in Brisbane this week.
Lyndel Bates, from QUT‘s Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q), has studied whether or not there is an optimal level of RBTs by examining the relationship between the number of RBTs conducted and the rate of alcohol-related crashes over time, across all Australian states.
“What we found was that in Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, NSW and Victoria, as the number of RBTs increased, the number of alcohol-related crashes decreased,” Dr Bates said.
“This suggests that RBTs are working to reduce the crash rates involving drink driving on roads in these states.
“However, in South Australia, the ACT and Tasmania, as the number of RBTs increased the number of alcohol-relates crashes also increased.”
Dr Bates said the difference was thought to be because the perceived risk of being detected was greater in Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, NSW and Victoria.
“What this tells us is there is no Australian-model when it comes to specific characteristics of drink drivers, testing and alcohol-related crashes,” she said.
“It also shows that it is important when developing policy around RBT operations, it needs to be state-specific rather than a blanket policy that covers the whole of Australia.”
Dr Bates said RBTs were the main drink driving law enforcement tool used in Australia and studies had shown Australia, compared to other countries, was considered to have the most successful RBT program in terms of crash reductions.
This research conducted by QUT and UQ titled Random Breath Tests and their effectiveness revisited: An examination of RBT and alcohol-related crash data from 2000-2011 across Australia, is one of the studies being presented at T2013: The 20th International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety conference.
The CARRS-Q-hosted conference runs until Wednesday August 28 and is a global forum that brings together experts on alcohol, drugs and traffic safety.
Alcolizer Technology, a world leader in alcohol breath testers, is the platinum sponsor of the conference.
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