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Many suspected drink drivers on drugs (Ireland)

  1. Lunar Loops
    This from IrishHealth.com (http://www.irishhealth.com/?level=4&id=10727) :

    Many suspected drink drivers on drugs
    [Posted: Thu 14/12/2006]

    A new study has found that a significant number of Irish drivers who were suspected of drink driving but were then found to be below the legal blood alcohol level, later tested positive for a range of drugs.
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    The researchers from UCD's School of Public Health and Population Science based their findings on 2,000 blood and urine samples, which were taken from drivers who had been stopped by Gardai on suspicion of drink driving.
    Half of the drivers were found to be above the maximum legal alcohol limit of 80mg/100ml for blood and 107mg/100ml for urine. The other half were below the legal limit.
    However when analysed, the researchers found that among those who had been below the legal drink drive limit, one in three tested positive for a range of drugs. These included amphetamines, cocaine and the heroin substitute, methadone. The most commonly detected drug was cannabis.
    Men were slightly more likely than women to test positive for drug use.
    Based on the samples in the study, the researchers calculated that almost 16% - or one in six drivers - stopped and tested under suspicion of drink driving, would test positive for drugs. They believe that all drivers who are stopped on suspicion of drink driving should be tested for drug use as a matter of routine.
    "Being under the legal limit for alcohol, being stopped in a city, being stopped between 6am and 4pm or between 4pm and 9pm and being under 35 years of age, were all independently associated with drug taking. Too little attention has been paid to the adverse effects of drugs on driving, but drugged driving can be as dangerous as drunken driving", they said.
    Details of these findings are published in the medical journal, Injury Prevention.

Comments

  1. Nature Boy
    This just goes to show that many of Ireland's drinkers are drug users too. It's such a shame that so many of them are so badly educated about their drug use however. I feel that Ireland has the potential to have a very liberal drug policy if only these people could improve their knowledge of the substances they're taking. This will be a crucial element within the next few decades in orchestrating a change in the way the Irish government views recreational drug use.
  2. darawk
    This is probably the dumbest study i've ever seen. They tested positive for marijuana use? Marijuana stays in your system for weeks, that doesn't mean they're high at the time. The police have _NO_ right to test you for something that isn't affecting your driving ability right then and there.
  3. Lunar Loops
    Not exactly, they tested positive for all sorts of drugs, both illegal and prescription (from anti-depressants to cocaine, heroin and methadone). However, SWID does make a very valid point. Some people currently complain about being tested for drunk driving the following morning when their blood-alcohol level is still over the limit, but they no longer feel drunk. In Ireland at the moment, unlike many other countries, the law is already in place to prosecute drivers who are under the influence of other drugs besides alcohol. The police can stop you for a random breath test and if you pass that, but they still feel you are under the influence of something (that's all the reason they need....their word) they can insist upon you accompanying them to the station for a blood test. Now your chauffer may well have had a spliff last week and will test positive for MJ. Bingo the police have a prosecution. Your ability to drive does not enter into it as there are no legal limits set for other drug levels in the bloodstream (only for alcohol). Ever so slightly worrying for any toking chauffers out there.
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