July 27, 2012
Under the influence? A survey of Canberra's drivers has revealed some worrying statistics about drink-driving in the capital. Photo: Karleen Minney
A high number of Canberra drivers have knowingly driven while drunk, new figures show.
A national study on drink driving behaviours, released by the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund yesterday, painted a worrying picture of drink driving in the ACT.
Of the 177 local drivers surveyed, 59 per cent admitted to driving despite knowing they had had too much to drink. A smaller amount, 39 per cent, admitted to driving before the effect of drugs had completely worn off.
The survey found that a small number of drivers were let off by police after being caught drink driving. Six drivers, or 4 per cent of respondents, said they had been detected drink driving by police but subsequently let off.
The study also found that Canberra drivers were knowingly evading police operations to avoid being detected drink driving.
There were 14 ACT drivers who said they had avoided being tested for alcohol or drugs by police, with 11 using back streets, and five getting warning calls from a friend.
Three drivers said they had made a u-turn to avoid a police.
Police efforts to have a visible presence on the ACT's roads appear to be working, with 93 per cent of those surveyed saying they've seen a booze bus or police car testing for drink driving.
The majority also reported seeing or hearing public messages or advertisements warning against drink driving.
Nationally, the survey found alcohol to be the most common cause of road trauma, with indications that drinking was a factor in up to 48 per cent of road fatalities. The research showed the average drink driver was male, aged between 26 and 35, and drank regularly.