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A comparison of the incidence of drugs in drink drivers and fatal road casualties.
C 27961 (In: C 27945) /83 / ITRD E201137 (also at CD-ROM C 27890/C27945/C28028)
Tunbridge, R. Keigan, M. & James, F.
In: Alcohol, drugs and traffic safety : proceedings of the 16th ICADTS International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety T'2002, Montreal, Canada, August 4-9, 2002, Volume 2, p. 439

Samenvatting Results from a study of the incidence of alcohol and drugs in road accident fatalities carried out between 1996 and 2000 show a large increase in the incidence of illicit drugs (from 3% to 14%) since the last comparable study in Great Britain in the mid-1980s. For practical and ethical reasons, there are extreme difficulties in obtaining an un-biased control sample of the incidence of drugs in a population of non-accident involved road users. Whilst a fatal road accident population represents a well defined population for study it was considered desirable to study the incidence of drugs in alternative populations of road users, particularly those who were primarily non-accident involved. One such population is the sample of drivers and riders who are required to give an evidential sample, under the 1988 Road Traffic Act, after suspicion of drink-driving above the legal limit. A subset of 2000 such cases where blood was given was selected anonymously from England and Wales and subsequently analysed for comparison with the fatally injured sample. The results show that the incidence of drugs in a broadly representative sample of drink-drivers (26.7%) was similar to that in a population of fatally injured road users carried out over the same period (24.1%). When the fatally injured population who had also consumed alcohol was taken into account, there was shown to be no significant difference in drug usage between the two populations. The distribution of those who had consumed drugs and those who had not was not significantly different in the two populations. Drug usage was therefore found not to be associated with accident involvement and strongly suggests that drugs were not a major causative factor within the fatal road casualty population. (Abstarct only) (Author/publisher) For the covering abstract of the conference see ITRD Abstract No. E201067.
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