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Driving Under the Influence in Greece: A 7-Year Survey (1998-2004)

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 174 Issue: 2-3 Dated: January 2008 Pages: 157-160
Stavroula A. Papadodima; Sotiris A. Athanaselis; Mania E. Steganidou; Artemis A. Dona; Ioannis Papoutsis; Costantine P. Maravelias; Chara A. Spiliopoulou
Date Published
January 2008
4 pages
This study investigated the prevalence of alcohol and other psychoactive substances among drivers involved in road traffic accidents in Greece during the period 1998-2004.
Alcohol was detected in the blood of approximately 37 percent of the drivers involved in traffic accidents during the period under study. The detection of alcohol among drivers in accidents was lower (29 percent) in the years 2001-2004. Of the total number of cases, cannabis, benzodiazepines, opiates, and cocaine were found in 4 percent, 4 percent, 4 percent, and 1 percent of drivers, respectively. Male drivers between the ages of 20 and 40 were more likely to be involved in traffic accidents. Constant monitoring with continuous and systematic followup studies should improve the estimate of the degree of drug involvement. This will assist in planning and evaluating prevention measures and intervention methods intended to decrease the number of traffic accidents caused by the use of alcohol and/or other psychoactive substances in Greece. The detection of alcohol and other psychoactive substances was performed for each traffic accident. Alcohol analysis was performed in whole blood samples using a gas chromatography method. A sample was considered positive for alcohol when blood alcohol concentration was over 5 mg/dl. Screening for psychoactive substances was done through urine samples. Their presence was confirmed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in blood according to the standardized methods and procedures recommended in the Manuals for Use by National Laboratories by United Nations Drug Control Program. 3 figures and 29 references