SWOV Catalogus


Drugs in injured drivers in Denmark.
C 33674 [electronic version only]
Bernhoft, I.M. Steentoft, A. Johansen, S.S. Klitgaard, N.A. Larsen, L.B. & Hansen, L.B.
Forensic Science International, Vol. 150 (2005), Nos. 2-3 (June 10), p. 181-189, 9 ref.

Samenvatting As part of the project Impaired Motorists, Methods of Roadside Testing and Assessment for Licensing (IMMORTAL) under the European Commission's Transport RTD Programme of the 5th Framework Programme [I.M. Bernhoft, Drugs in accidents involved drivers in Denmark, D-R4.3 of the project Impaired Motorists, Methods Of Roadside Testing and Assessment for Licensing (IMMORTAL), , 2005], a study regarding drugs in accident-involved drivers was carried out in Denmark. The main objectives of this study were: (1) to collect and analyse samples from injured drivers for the presence of drugs; (2) to give an indication whether drugs may have contributed to traffic accidents; and (3) to get information on the drug-positive drivers and their drug use. This paper focuses on objective 1. Injured drivers who were treated in hospital were asked to give a saliva sample, a blood sample or both. The samples were screened for the following substances: opiates, amphetamines, methamphetamines, incl. MDMA (ecstasy), cannabinoids and metabolites, cocaine and metabolites and benzodiazepines. Screenings were carried out by means of Cozart Microplate EIA kit. Positive screenings were confirmation analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) or liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). In total, 26 out of 330 patients were confirmed positive for one or more of the six drug groups. However, three patients were excluded from the survey for various reasons. Of the remaining 23 drug-positive patients 15 were found positive for one drug group, and in five of these cases alcohol was present in a concentration over the legal limit in Denmark (0.05%). The other eight patients were found positive for two drug groups, and in four of these cases, alcohol was also present in a concentration over the legal limit. Alcohol was found both in combinations with medicinal drugs, with illegal drugs and with both. Based on the saliva or blood concentrations, we estimate that there is a strong suspicion of impairment in 9 out of 23 cases, and in another six cases it was likely that the drivers were impaired. (Author/publisher)
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