Study measures alcohol and drug levels in accidents

THE levels of alcohol and drugs in the blood of drivers involved in fatal road accidents is being studied for the first time by the Department of Transport.

By linking up with the coroner in Kildare, the Medical Bureau of Road Safety is gathering statistics for the first time on the causes of death in road traffic accidents.

The study will attempt to measure the level of cases where alcohol and drug abuse or exhaustion were a factor in a fatal accident.

Under the law at present, the information is only available to the Coroner and changes in legislation are being considered to allow for the autopsy details to be put into the system.

Department of Transport secretary general Julie O’Neill said the information would be useful in formulating road safety strategy.

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