Home > Drinking, drugs and driving in Ireland: more evidence for action.

Fitzpatrick, Patricia and Daly, Leslie and Leavy, CP and Cusack, Denis A (2006) Drinking, drugs and driving in Ireland: more evidence for action. Injury Prevention, 12, (6), pp. 404-408. https://dx.doi.org/10.1136%2Fip.2006.013177.

Objective: To examine the prevalence of drug positivity among drivers suspected of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, and consequently apprehended by the police in Ireland.

Design: 2000 specimens were selected for drug analysis, 1000 with results under the limit for alcohol and 1000 over the limit. The limit for alcohol is 80 mg/100 ml in blood and 107 mg/100 ml in urine. Seven drugs/drug classes were examined; amphetamines, methamphetamines, benzodiazapines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates and methadone.

Results: 331 (33.1%) of the drivers under the legal limit for alcohol tested positive for one or more of the relevant drugs, and the corresponding figures of drivers over the limit was 142 (14.2%; p200 mg/100 ml. Being under the limit for alcohol, stopped in a city area, stopped between 6 am and 4 pm, or 4 pm and 9 pm, and being of a younger age were each independently associated with drug positivity.

Conclusions: There are immediate implications for the evidential breath alcohol program and for checkpoints; in the event of a nil or low alcohol reading being obtained, a separate blood or urine specimen should be sought for analysis, which is currently non-routine.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
Identification #
Page Range
pp. 404-408
BMJ Publishing
Accession Number
HRB 4252 (Not in collection)
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