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Five-year update on the occurrence of alcohol and other drugs in blood samples from drivers killed in road-traffic crashes in Sweden.
Forensic Sci Int. 2009 Apr 15; 186(1-3):56-62.FS

Abstract

According to statistics provided by the Swedish National Road Administration (Vägverket), a total of 1403 drivers were killed in road-traffic crashes in Sweden between 2003 and 2007. Forensic autopsies were performed in approximately 97% of all deaths and specimens of blood and urine were sent for toxicological analysis. In 60% of cases (N=835) the toxicology results were negative and 83% of these victims were men. The blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was above the legal limit for driving (>0.2g/L) in 22% of cases (N=315) at mean, median and highest concentrations of 1.7 g/L, 1.7 g/L and 4.9 g/L, respectively. The proportions of male to female drivers with BAC>0.2g/L were 93% vs 7% compared with 83% vs 17% for those with drugs other than alcohol in blood. Drivers with a punishable BAC were over-represented in single vehicle crashes compared with multiple vehicle crashes (67% vs 33%). The opposite held for drivers who had taken a prescription drug (39% vs 61%) and also for drug-negative cases (31% vs 69%). Drugs other than alcohol were identified in 253 cases (18%); illicit drugs only in 39 cases (2.8%), both licit and illicit in 28 cases (2.0%) and in 186 cases (13.3%) one or more therapeutic drugs were present. Amphetamine was the most common illicit drug identified at mean, median and highest concentrations of 1.5mg/L, 1.1mg/L and 5.0mg/L, respectively (N=39). Blood specimens contained a wide spectrum of pharmaceutical products (mean 2.4 drugs/person), comprising sedative-hypnotics (N=93), opiates/opioids (N=69) as well non-scheduled substances, such as paracetamol (N=78) and antidepressants (N=93). The concentrations of these substances in blood were mostly in the therapeutic range. Despite an appreciable increase (12-fold) in number of arrests made by the police for drug-impaired driving after a zero-tolerance law was introduced (July 1999), alcohol still remains the psychoactive substance most frequently identified in the blood of drivers killed in road-traffic crashes.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Forensic Genetics and Forensic Toxicology, National Board of Forensic Medicine, Artillerigatan 12, SE-587 58 Linköping, Sweden. wayne.jones@rmv.seNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19232848

Citation

Jones, Alan Wayne, et al. "Five-year Update On the Occurrence of Alcohol and Other Drugs in Blood Samples From Drivers Killed in Road-traffic Crashes in Sweden." Forensic Science International, vol. 186, no. 1-3, 2009, pp. 56-62.
Jones AW, Kugelberg FC, Holmgren A, et al. Five-year update on the occurrence of alcohol and other drugs in blood samples from drivers killed in road-traffic crashes in Sweden. Forensic Sci Int. 2009;186(1-3):56-62.
Jones, A. W., Kugelberg, F. C., Holmgren, A., & Ahlner, J. (2009). Five-year update on the occurrence of alcohol and other drugs in blood samples from drivers killed in road-traffic crashes in Sweden. Forensic Science International, 186(1-3), 56-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.01.014
Jones AW, et al. Five-year Update On the Occurrence of Alcohol and Other Drugs in Blood Samples From Drivers Killed in Road-traffic Crashes in Sweden. Forensic Sci Int. 2009 Apr 15;186(1-3):56-62. PubMed PMID: 19232848.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Five-year update on the occurrence of alcohol and other drugs in blood samples from drivers killed in road-traffic crashes in Sweden. AU - Jones,Alan Wayne, AU - Kugelberg,Fredrik C, AU - Holmgren,Anita, AU - Ahlner,Johan, Y1 - 2009/02/18/ PY - 2008/10/23/received PY - 2009/01/14/revised PY - 2009/01/15/accepted PY - 2009/2/24/entrez PY - 2009/2/24/pubmed PY - 2009/7/10/medline SP - 56 EP - 62 JF - Forensic science international JO - Forensic Sci Int VL - 186 IS - 1-3 N2 - According to statistics provided by the Swedish National Road Administration (Vägverket), a total of 1403 drivers were killed in road-traffic crashes in Sweden between 2003 and 2007. Forensic autopsies were performed in approximately 97% of all deaths and specimens of blood and urine were sent for toxicological analysis. In 60% of cases (N=835) the toxicology results were negative and 83% of these victims were men. The blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was above the legal limit for driving (>0.2g/L) in 22% of cases (N=315) at mean, median and highest concentrations of 1.7 g/L, 1.7 g/L and 4.9 g/L, respectively. The proportions of male to female drivers with BAC>0.2g/L were 93% vs 7% compared with 83% vs 17% for those with drugs other than alcohol in blood. Drivers with a punishable BAC were over-represented in single vehicle crashes compared with multiple vehicle crashes (67% vs 33%). The opposite held for drivers who had taken a prescription drug (39% vs 61%) and also for drug-negative cases (31% vs 69%). Drugs other than alcohol were identified in 253 cases (18%); illicit drugs only in 39 cases (2.8%), both licit and illicit in 28 cases (2.0%) and in 186 cases (13.3%) one or more therapeutic drugs were present. Amphetamine was the most common illicit drug identified at mean, median and highest concentrations of 1.5mg/L, 1.1mg/L and 5.0mg/L, respectively (N=39). Blood specimens contained a wide spectrum of pharmaceutical products (mean 2.4 drugs/person), comprising sedative-hypnotics (N=93), opiates/opioids (N=69) as well non-scheduled substances, such as paracetamol (N=78) and antidepressants (N=93). The concentrations of these substances in blood were mostly in the therapeutic range. Despite an appreciable increase (12-fold) in number of arrests made by the police for drug-impaired driving after a zero-tolerance law was introduced (July 1999), alcohol still remains the psychoactive substance most frequently identified in the blood of drivers killed in road-traffic crashes. SN - 1872-6283 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19232848/Five_year_update_on_the_occurrence_of_alcohol_and_other_drugs_in_blood_samples_from_drivers_killed_in_road_traffic_crashes_in_Sweden_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -