Researching Impaired Driving in New Zealand












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Examples of Current Projects​


Restraints Research in New Zealand Random Sample Drink Drive Offenders Tasmanian Drink Driving Courts
This project seeks to review the number of 'Restraints' offences in New Zealand as well as reviewing the traffic offence history of 'Restraints' offenders and non-restraint wearing deceased vehicle occupants.


This project seeks to identify a random population sample for comparitive purposes.This has long been a methdological problem area in evaluation. Working with Ministry of Justice analysts and worldwide experts we seek to create a sample group with as little methodological bias as possible.
Since 2014 Tasmania has been exploring possible alternative initiatives to tackle drink and drug drivers. This project has incuded presentations and consultancy in Tasmania along with media interviews and stakeholder workshops.


Examples of Previous Projects


Youth Traffic Offending Project
Young drivers are one of the most at risk groups of drivers. This project in particular set out to Identify effective interventions that reduce re-offending and produce compliant drivers, to improve road safety, crime-related and social outcomes, and reduce re-offending costs on the enforcement and criminal justice systems. The project also seeks to answer the questions:
1. Is traffic offending a leading path (if the term path is used as a first appearance at court) into the criminal justice system for young New Zealanders?
2. Are there more effective interventions than standard penalties at reducing re-offending and improving road safety outcomes?
This project has three separate phases. An initial baseline data gathering stage, a detailed data gathering phase and an extensive literature review.


Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts
Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts (AODTCs) have been proven to be effective in preventing recidivist crime and more cost effective than the ‘catch and release’ approach, by offering a regime of treatment and rehabilitation with monitoring for AOD offenders. AODTCs screen and identify offenders who are able, with support and treatment, to make positive changes in their lives, in turn affecting the lives of their family and dependents. AODTCs challenge the motivation behind criminal offending rather than simply imposing the punitive measures of traditional criminal courts. Currently in the United States there are 2559 drug courts in operation. This project sets out the case for the introduction of these problem solving Courts to New Zealand.
Alcohol Ignition Interlock Project
Alcohol ignition interlocks have been proven to be one of the best technological approaches to reducing attempted drink driving. The Alcohol Ignition Interlock is a device that requires a breath sample clear of Alcohol before the cars ignition will engage. Our project set out to evaluate New Zealands interlock programme after its first year as a sentencing option for certain repeat drink drivers.


Drink and Drug Drivers 2009-2012
This project reviewed the Ministry of Justice data for all convicted drink and drug drivers from 2009-2012. The data contains information on repeat and first time offenders, sentence outcomes and conviction rates. The research also provides a preliminary review of the newly introduced alcohol ignition interlock sentence.


Compulsory Breath Testing
Starting in September 2010, RIDNZ accompanied the Auckland Metropolitan Police ‘Traffic Alcohol Group’ (TAG) on their Compulsory Breath Testing (CBT) operations using ‘booze buses’ in the Auckland area. RIDNZ accompanied the Police on 11 shifts for a total of 88 hours. RIDNZ was able to observe the police at work and to speak to those drivers who were stopped and suspected of driving with Excess Breath/Blood Alcohol (EBA). This project contains observations on the procedures involved in CBT operations, and interviews with those suspected of driving with EBA. The TAG perform their duties with professionalism and enthusiasm to protect us all from impaired drivers in New Zealand.


An Evaluation Frame work
Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment services for repeat impaired (drunk/drugged) offenders are not new to New Zealand and a number of programmes have been individually evaluated as to their effectiveness. However, there has not been a single evaluation using the same framework to compare and contrast a number of such programmes. This evaluation framework outlines the data gathering requirements to be used by all contracted services. This data will form part of an evaluation to identify whether the desired outcomes are being achieved as well as features of best practice to be adopted by the providers.


Drink Driver Rehabilitation
Alcohol impaired driving is a major road safety problem in New Zealand and refers to driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs or combinations of both. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of initiatives and best practice to rehabilitate alcohol involved offending and reduce repeat drink driving. This project also reviews drink driver rehabilitation available in New Zealand and also reviews the ‘Indefinite Disqualification’ sanction.


Substance Impaired Driving Information
Unlike drink driving, drug impaired driving is a topic that has only recently began to receive the attention historically given to alcohol impaired driving. This project investigates some of the multi faceted problems regarding drug and poly drug driving. Implications for CBT operations are discussed as well as repeat drink and drug driving offenders.



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    Researching Impaired Driving in New Zealand