As school holidays and Christmas approach, police hope local residents will be more conscious about the dangers of drinking before they drive.
As school holidays and Christmas approach, police hope local residents will be more conscious about the dangers of drinking before they drive. MarianVejcik

GENDER BENDER: More women drive Rocky booze shame

ROCKHAMPTON has one of the worst rates of male drink-drive offenders in the state but women account for almost 15 per cent of boozy road-users.  

Exclusive Queensland Police data shows the region's cops handed out 702 driving under the influence tickets in Rockhampton over the past two financial years, with 78 per cent - or 548 - of the charges clocked up by males.

Of the 13 major centres in the State, Rockhampton had the fifth highest rate of male offenders.

Local drivers are more likely to blow a blood-alcohol level of .05-.10.    

Road trauma expert Professor Kerry Armstrong said "sociological factors" meant women were more at risk of drinking and driving now than in the past.

"The numbers are likely to be increasing because women are more likely to have access to their own money and they often live in multi-vehicle households so they are more mobile," said the research fellow at QUT's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland.

"And part of it is that women may be inadvertently caught out early in the morning after drinking as they take kids to school or other activities."

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Alcohol and Other Drugs Service team manager Rob Rolls said the service had treated more than 5000 patients with alcohol and drug problems since mid-2016.

"One of the benefits of this model is it allows our staff to screen all patients regardless of whether they're seeking treatment for a problem," he said.

"It allows patients to get expert education on the effects of excessive use of alcohol." 

Queensland Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating said 25 per cent of people who died in traffic crashes over the past 10 years had an excess amount of alcohol in their blood.

"We have seen improvements over time but we also have seen that some people are not getting the message to not drink and drive," Mr Keating said.

"The message is simple - if you are going out to have a drink, have a Plan B."

The Queensland Government will spend $1.765billion this financial year on alcohol, drug and mental health services across the state.

- NewsRegional

BY THE NUMBERS

Drink-driving rates by gender across Queensland in 2016-2018

REGION, MALE, FEMALE

BRISBANE, 78.9%, 21.1%

BUNDABERG, 76.5%, 23.5%

CAIRNS, 62.8%, 37.2%

FRASER COAST, 77.7%, 22.3%

GOLD COAST, 75.7%, 24.3%

GLADSTONE, 87.6%, 12.4%

GYMPIE , 80.2%, 19.8%

IPSWICH, 80.2%, 19.8%

MACKAY, 77.2%, 22.8%

ROCKHAMPTON, 78%, 22%

SUNSHINE COAST, 70.5%, 29.5%

TOOWOOMBA, 78%, 22%

TOWNSVILLE, 76.4% ,23.6%

WARWICK, 82.8%, 17.2%

QUEENSLAND, 77.7%, 22.3%

Source: Queensland Police