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What non-alcohol drugs are used by drinking drivers in Sweden? Toxicological results from ten years of forensic blood samples
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Drug Research.
National Board for Forensic Medicine, Sweden .
2012 (English)In: Journal of Safety Research, ISSN 0022-4375, E-ISSN 1879-1247, Vol. 43, no 3, 151-156 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction and Method: Using a forensic toxicology database (TOXBASE), the toxicological results from 10 years of forensic blood samples from people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs were reviewed. Results: Alcohol was the only drug identified in blood in N = 35,704 cases at a median blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 1.63 mg/g. The mean age (+/- SD) of these offenders was 40 +/- 15 years and 89% were male. The median BAC was lower (1.30 mg/g) in drivers who had consumed alcohol and used a prescription drug before driving (N = 1,251). The mean age of this group of traffic offenders was 38 +/- 13 years and 85% were male. Both the median BAC (0.97 mg/g) and the mean age were lowest (36 +/- 11 years, 92% male) in N = 3,153 drivers who had consumed alcohol and used illicit drugs before driving. Cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine and morphine (metabolite of heroin) were the commonest illicit drugs identified in blood samples. Sedative-hypnotics (benzodiazepines) were the major prescription drugs co-ingested with alcohol. Poly-drug use was a common finding in these traffic delinquents, although individuals who only drank alcohol had a higher median BAC and were also several years older than drinking drivers combining alcohol with other drugs before driving. Impact on Industry: Zero-tolerance legislation did not deter hard-core offenders. In future there should be more focus on treatment for alcohol and substance abuse disorder rather than conventional punishments for this type of traffic crime.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2012. Vol. 43, no 3, 151-156 p.
Keyword [en]
Alcohol, Drugs, Driving, Blood-alcohol, Traffic safety
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85305DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2012.05.002ISI: 000309573400001OAI: diva2:569999
Available from: 2012-11-16 Created: 2012-11-15 Last updated: 2014-06-11

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Jones, Alan Wayne
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