Publications & Reports

Drink driving among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: What has been done and where to next?

Fitts MS, Burchill R, Wilson S, Palk GR, Clough AR, Conigrave KM, Slade T, Shakeshaft A, Lee KSK
Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia.


The Australian Government will set the direction for addressing road safety over the next decade with its 2021-2030 National Road Safety Strategy. This road map will detail objectives and goals agreed upon by all Australian states and territories. Similar to previous national strategies, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians are a high priority population. Indigenous Australians are over-represented in serious injury and fatal road crashes, with alcohol a leading factor. Therapeutic and educational programs are a major strategy among the suite of measures designed to reduce and prevent drink driving in Australia. The release of this new strategy provides a timely opportunity to reflect on what is known about drink driving among Indigenous Australians and to consider the suitability of existing therapeutic and educational drink driving programs for Indigenous Australian contexts. Here, we summarise factors that contribute to drink driving in this population and identify outstanding knowledge gaps. Then, we present an overview of drink driving programs available for Indigenous Australians along with suggestions for why tailored programs are needed to suit local contexts. The response to address drink driving among Indigenous Australians has been fragmented Australia-wide. A coordinated national response, with ongoing monitoring and evaluation, would improve policy effectiveness and inform more efficient allocation of resources. Together this information can help create suitable and effective drink driving programs for Indigenous drivers and communities Australia-wide.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Drug and Alcohol Review
  • Published: 01/01/2022
  • Volume: 41
  • Issue: 6
  • Pagination: 1412-1417