Managing intoxicated offenders

Best practice in responding to individuals affected by drugs and alcohol

Monograph no. 65

Georgina Fuller, Susan Goldsmid, Rick Brown

A considerable proportion of a police officer’s time involves interactions with persons who are intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. The risks associated with intoxication are not limited to the affected individual as their behaviour may also present risks to the police and other frontline service personnel or to the public in general. This research explored the range of strategies that have been adopted by the police in four jurisdictions across Australia to manage those risks. The primary aim was to develop a best practice framework to help guide the development of police policies and practices in identifying, responding to and managing intoxication and withdrawal. The C.A.L.M framework comprises four, non-sequential phases (Control, Assess, Liaise and Manage). It is designed to assist the police in identifying risks and considerations related to intoxication and withdrawal during each stage of offender management. The C.A.L.M framework is not intended to replace existing police procedures, but rather to provide a consistent framework from which policies and practices can be built, reviewed and collaborated on across jurisdictions. Regular engagement across police jurisdictions was identified as important in the development and maintenance of best practice. The C.A.L.M framework provides an evidence-based foundation that promotes consistency and knowledge sharing across Australian police jurisdictions to aid the police in the management of intoxicated offenders.