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Publication Details

TitleRandom breath testing in South Australia: effects on drink driving, accidents and casualties
AuthorsMcLean AJ, Clark MS, Dorsch MM, Holubowycz OT, McCaul KA
AbstractRandom breath alcohol testing (RBT) by the police was introduced in South Australia in October 1981 for a trial period of three years. Changes in attitudes to drink-driving, in blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of the general driving population, in the characteristics of accidents and the BACs of road accident casualties were measured to determine the effectiveness of the RBT programme in the Adelaide metropolitan area. 30,000 drivers were sampled in three roadside breath alcohol surveys conducted in early 1981, 1982 and 1983. There was an initial reduction in the proportion of drivers above the legal BAC limit of 0.08 after RBT started. A year later this effect was no longer obvious. The proportion of drivers who had been drinking was also reduced initially, and was still low a year later. The attitudes of drivers to drink-driving were consistent with their self reported drinking behaviour but were not good predictors of their actual drink-driving behaviour. No adequate information was available on the involvement of alcohol in accidents. RBT units were located on main roads. The proportion of late night single vehicle crashes on back streets doubled after the introduction of RBT. The BAC distribution of all road accident casualties was constant from 1979 through 1983, with the exception of 1981 when there was a reduction in the proportion of drivers having a BAC below 0.15. This change was most marked at the end of 1981, after RBT had started.
PublisherRoad Accident Research Unit
Publisher CityAdelaide
SponsorDepartment of Transport (SA)
Page Count138
Notesavailable from CASR library on request

McLean AJ, Clark MS, Dorsch MM, Holubowycz OT, McCaul KA (1984) Random breath testing in South Australia: effects on drink driving, accidents and casualties, Road Accident Research Unit, Adelaide.

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