Recidivist drink drivers' self-reported reasons for driving whilst unlicensed-A qualitative analysis

  • Lenton S
  • Fetherston J
  • Cercarelli R
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Aim: This paper presents qualitative data from an in-depth interview study of 40 repeat drink drivers in Perth Western Australia to inform countermeasures for these high risk offenders. Background: Licence sanctions are effective countermeasures for most drink drivers but the small group of repeat offenders are less responsive. Many choose to drive whilst unlicensed as the probability of detection is low and the social and economic costs of not driving can be high. This undermines other drink drive countermeasures. Results: Most respondents who had had their licence suspended admitted to driving whilst under suspension. Employment and social factors were key themes emerging in respondents' accounts of driving whilst under licence suspension. Conclusions: Whilst a range of enforcement countermeasures are needed to deter drunk and unlicensed driving, this study suggests that where possible we aim to keep offenders within the system that consists of formal laws and informal social controls, rather than apply penalties in ways that undermine adherence to the law by increasing unlicensed driving. Allowing for interlock installation early in the driving suspension period, and allowing fines to offset cost of interlock installation and monitoring, may maximise community benefit and reduce unlicensed driving. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Alcohol
  • DUI
  • DWI
  • DWS
  • Interlock
  • Recidivist
  • Repeat

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  • Simon Lenton

  • James Fetherston

  • Rina Cercarelli

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