Drink and drug driving education in the Northern Territory: a qualitative study illustrating issues of access and inequity

Cassandra J. C. Wright, Mia Miller, Tessa Wallace, Sarah Clifford, Oliver Black, Noemi Tari-Keresztes, James Smith

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Objective: In the Northern Territory, people who commit drink driving offences are required to undertake an approved course or treatment to be eligible for a driver's licence, however, course uptake is low. We investigated barriers to program uptake.

Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 program attendees, course providers and government stakeholders. We used a framework analysis.

Results: Program coverage in remote areas was limited, leading to inequitable access. The course cost affected uptake and exacerbated existing financial hardship. There were mixed views among government stakeholders on the program. While some held a view that offenders should ‘pay the price’, some also saw the user-pays model and high program cost as a clear barrier to accessibility.

Conclusions: The data from this study demonstrate how the current delivery model for drink and drug driving education increases inequities for those in regional and remote areas, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Implications for public health: Moving away from the current user-pays model to a subsidised or free model may facilitate greater access. Online delivery may increase accessibility; however, consultation is required to ensure the program is delivered equitably with consideration of language, literacy, cultural factors and access to technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-454
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohol consumption
  • drink driving
  • equity
  • health promotion
  • rural health


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