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Qld drink driving rehabilitation receives anti-crime award

Media Release

29 October 2009

An innovative Queensland rehabilitation program for drink drivers has won national recognition at the 2009 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

The 'Under the Limit' Drink Driving Education and Rehabilitation Program (UTL) is an 11-week course offered in association with a probation order through the Queensland Magistrates Courts.

The program aims to rehabilitate drink driving offenders, reduce alcohol-related crashes and trauma and the crime of drink driving.

The program received a National Certificate and cash award of $10,000, which was presented by Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor at Parliament House in Canberra today.

Developed by Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q), UTL began as a trial program in Central Queensland in 1993. By 1998, the success of the program led to it being made available throughout the state.

Professor Jeremy Davey, Deputy Director of CARRS-Q, said the program had delivered a 55 percent reduction in subsequent drink driving behaviour by serious repeat offenders.

"We anticipate that the positive effects of the program will increase over time, reducing alcohol-related crashes and trauma, the incidence of drink driving, and the social and financial costs associated with this crime," Professor Davey said.

The program is delivered through TAFE colleges and the cost is met by offenders, 8500 of whom have so far been referred through the program. It is also delivered via distance education, providing state-wide access to the program for drink driving offenders.

"The program not only has an impact on the offender, but indirectly affects potential victims of drink driving crashes by rehabilitating these high risk and serious offenders, thereby reducing the number of crashes and associated fatalities," the Professor said.

Minister O'Connor said the program highlights the positive outcomes which can be achieved through rehabilitation and the need for a flexible delivery method.

"The results from this program show how re-offending can be addressed through education and training that is accessible by those who are at risk of repeat offending," Mr O'Connor said.

The ACVPA is a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory governments which rewards outstanding community-based projects that prevent or reduce crime and violence.

Eight ground-breaking projects involving young offenders and youth at risk, Indigenous communities, religious congregations, police and community health and safety organisations have won national recognition this year.

For more information about the Australian Community Violence Prevention Awards visit http://www.aic.gov.au/crime_community/acvpa.aspx

PROJECT OVERVIEW: UNDER THE LIMIT DRINK DRIVING EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION PROGRAM, QUEENSLAND

Under The Limit Drink Driving Education and Rehabilitation Program, Queensland

Begun as a pilot program in central Queensland in 1993, the 11-week drink driving prevention and rehabilitation program that is offered in association with a probation order through the Queensland Magistrates Courts has been successfully rolled out across the state.

The program has rehabilitated many drink-driving offenders, reduced alcohol-related crashes and trauma and the crime of drink-driving.

Key outcomes:

  • 8500 offenders so far referred through the program
  • Used as a model for similar programs in NSW, WA and the ACT
  • A 55 percent reduction in subsequent drink driving behaviour by serious repeat offenders

Media contacts: Scott Kelleher 0418 159525, Caterina Giugovaz 0418 221798. For detail on the awards visit www.aic.gov.au/crime_community/acvpa.aspx