Recidivist Drink Driving: A Specialist Court for Tasmania? University of Tasmania

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1 Recidivist Drink Driving: A Specialist Court for Tasmania? Isabelle Bartkowiak-Théron Terese Henning University of Tasmania

2 It s a question of resolve, and a question of will and a question of cooperation between various agencies and those in the community who can provide these sorts of programs. At the end of the day drink driving is a prevalent offence in our society about which I think we ve done very little. Chief Magistrate Michael Hill The Mercury (Hobart) 14 June 2012

3 70 Crash Fatalities Drink Driving Offenders

4 Purpose: to initiate the process of informed decisionmaking about whether and how best to apply problem solving court processes to recidivist drink driving in Tasmania Michael Hill, Chief Magistrate, The Magistrates Court of Tasmania Professor Arie Freiberg, Victorian and Tasmanian Sentencing Advisory Councils Dr Raimondo Bruno, University of Tasmania Associate Professor Peter Miller, Deakin University Jann Smith, CEO, The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tas Inc. Inspector Peter Harriss, Tasmania Police John Costello, Magistrate, The Magistrates Court of the Queensland Elisa Buggy, Program Manager, Drug Court in Victoria Gerald Waters, Research Director, Researching Impaired Driving in New Zealand

5 Key questions for the workshop How can we integrate sentencing options (including Rehab) & the Interlock program? Do we have the means to initiate an inter-agency initiative? Who monitors what? Can we reach out to regional areas of Tasmania? How can we sell therapeutic justice to the community & the government? What would be eligibility criteria? Should the program target those who may become recidivists or only those who are recidivists? Step/care options for different types of offenders? Shall there be a mapping of behaviour modification? Where can we get stronger data on RDD & assessment processes? What is needed for proper assessment?

6 Reduction of road fatality rates

7 Current Sentencing Options Sentencing Act 1997 (Tas): imprisonment, suspended sentences, csos, probation, fines etc Road Safety (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1970 (Tas) - mandatory minimum fines, mandatory minimum periods of disqualification and discretionary prison sentences. Vehicle and Traffic (Driver Licensing and Vehicle Registration) Regulations 2010 (Tas) Interlock Licenses reg 9A & Div 3A. Additionally probation orders, community service orders and suspended sentences may include conditions such as attendance at a Sober Driving Program.

8 Research on limitations of traditional sentences Trimboli L and Smith N, Drink Driving and Recidivism in NSW (2009) Crime and Justice Bulletin, no 135 Briscoe S, The impact of increased drink-driving penalties on recidivism rates in NSW (2004) Alcohol Studies Bulletin, no 5 Weatherburn D and Moffatt S, The Specific Deterrent Effect of Higher Fines on Drink-driving Offenders (2011) 51 British Journal of Criminology Richardson E, A Driving While Intoxicated/Suspended Court List for Victoria; Background Paper v 2 (June 2013, Monash University)

9 Issues re MHDL Model No legislative basis: Coercive nature of the model may give rise to human rights issues if it has no basis in legislation Issues of sustainability where there is no legislated basis for the program. Implications of mandatory sentences for RDD Reduced incentives for rehabilitation cf CMD model. Effectively turns bail into a sentencing vehicle. If attached to bail, may not be able to achieve necessary longevity of treatment. Adaptation of MHDL programs probably necessary unless there is comorbidity. Can the difficulty partly be resolved by imposing a treatment order as a condition of a probation order, CSO or suspended sentence? But then how is the desirable judicial supervision achieved?

10 Issues re CMD Model Only available where there has been illicit drug use. Legislative change would be necessary to make this program available for recidivist drink drivers or serious drink driving offenders. CMD programs may not have the requisite focus for drink drivers whose offending may not be due to addiction.

11 Some suggestions from the Workshop Devise a road map for the establishment of a therapeutic model Prepare a background paper to which key stakeholders agree and can subscribe as a basis for discussion with government and promotion of model with the community Involve journalists with crime journalism specialization in educating and promoting model Establish a small prototype as an evaluative model Build towards legislative imprimatur because of the coercive nature of the intervention and human rights and sustainability issues

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