Publications & Reports

The prevalence of drug driving and being caught for a drug driving offense among community-recruited people who use methamphetamine in metropolitan and rural Victoria, Australia.

Nightingale C, Kippen R, Ward B, Stoové M, Quinn B, Sutton K, Dietze P
School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.


OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence, frequency and characteristics of drug driving and being caught for a drug driving offense and their key correlates among people who used methamphetamine in rural and metropolitan areas of Victoria, Australia. METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis of a sample of 744 people who used methamphetamine. Outcomes included self-reported drug driving (driving within three hours of consuming drugs, yes/no) and having been caught for a drug driving offense (yes/no). Sociodemographic (including rurality) and drug use variables were included in multivariable analyses. RESULTS: Of the 511 participants who reported driving in the six months prior to the survey, 407 (80%) reported drug driving (driving within three hours of taking an illicit drug). Most drug drivers (92.6%) reported taking methamphetamine (in combination with other drugs (59.5%) or in isolation (33.2%)) before driving. Most reported drug driving daily (31%) or weekly (25%), with passengers often (31%) or sometimes (28%). Most reported believing their driving was not at all impaired (49%), or only slightly impaired (32%) when preceded by drug taking. Multivariable analysis revealed that drug driving was not associated with rurality, nor with other socio-demographic characteristics. However, participants residing outside metropolitan areas were more likely to report having been caught previously for a drug driving offense (Adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.93, 95% CI = 1.18-3.16). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of people within this cohort of people who used methamphetamine reported drug driving. An enhanced focus on public health campaigns and strategies to prevent drug driving is needed.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Traffic Injury Prevention
  • Published: 20/01/2023
  • Volume: 24
  • Issue: 2
  • Pagination: 103-108