Lee Constable

More passengers reacting to drink drivers: research

MOST Australians would go to great lengths to stop their family and friends from drink or drug-driving, with new research revealing one-in-12 would call the police on their mates and one-in-seven would actually remove an engine part to immobilise their vehicle.

The research by Slater and Gordon Lawyers involved a survey of more than 2000 people, with almost half (47%) saying they had been with someone who had driven or wanted to drive their car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Frighteningly, more than a quarter (26%) said it happened at least once a month.

Would you get in the way of someone about to drink drive?

This poll ended on 04 May 2015.

Current Results

I'd take their keys and their tyres if they tried.


I'd call the police on them if I saw them drive off.


I'd say something but I wouldn't physically stop them.


I wouldn't interfere.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The vast majority of people surveyed (81%) who had been around someone when they were about to drink or drug-drive said they had taken it on themselves to prevent them from getting behind the wheel.

"Alcohol continues to be a major factor in serious casualties on our nation's roads with more than one quarter of fatal crashes involving a driver who is under the influence," motor vehicle accident lawyer, Craig Lynch, said.

"Our research backs these road crash statistics, by showing that everyday Australians are dealing with friends and loved ones who are still wanting to drive after a few drinks or taking drugs.

"Importantly though, a huge majority of people clearly know the devastating impact road trauma can have, and they are actually taking steps to prevent it.

"All motor vehicle accidents are preventable, but drink-driving incidents are particularly senseless.

"And decades of research tells us that the crash impact and subsequent injuries can be more significant when alcohol is involved."

Mr Lynch said it was a "positive sign" that most Australians want to prevent drink driving.

Just 6% of people surveyed said they wouldn't act.

"From my experience they either wanted to avoid an

ugly confrontation or they believed it was simply none of their business," Mr Lynch said.

"The bottom line is, as community members we need to weigh up whether it's worth staying silent just to avoid a single moment of awkwardness."

The top ways survey respondents said they had or would prevent drink or drug driving:

  • Reasoning with the drinker (53%).
  • Hiding their keys (48%).
  • Ordering a taxi (47%).
  • Giving them a lift home (43%).
  • Enlisting help from others (28%).

* Respondents could choose multiple answers.

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