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Drug Use, Impaired Driving and Traffic Accidents, Second Edition

NCJ Number
Alain G. Verstraete; Sara-Ann Legrand; Liesbeth Vandam; Brendan Hughes; Paul Griffiths
Date Published
152 pages
This report examines the relationship between drug use, impaired driving, and traffic accidents in the European Union.
This report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction uses the results of a literature review to examine the relationship between drug use, impaired driving, and traffic accidents. Major findings from the review of experimental studies include the following: several illicit drugs negatively impact cognitive and psychomotor skills necessary for driving; the chronic use of illicit drugs is associated with impaired driving and can lead to decreases in driving performance over time even when the person is not intoxicated; and some therapeutic drugs have been found to cause impairment in both the short- and long-term. A review of epidemiological studies confirmed many of the findings from the experimental studies. Highlights of findings from the Driving under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol, and Medicines (DRUID) project in Europe include show that among drivers in the European Union, 3.48 percent drive with alcohol in their blood, 1.9 percent drive with illicit drugs in their system, and 1.4 percent drive with a medicinal drug in their system. Alcohol was the most prevalent drug found in drivers' system, followed by cannabis and benzodiazepines. This review uses the results of the DRUID project to provide European Union Member States with information necessary for enacting policies, procedures, and legislation aimed at the problem of drug-impaired driving. The report also includes the results of studies examining the effects and risks associated with the following drugs: cannabis, opioids, amphetamines, cocaine, benzodiazepines and other medicines, and other synthetic psychoactive substances. Tables, figures, appendix, and references