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Journal Article

Citation

Rio MC, Gonzalez-Luque JC, Álvarez FJ. Alcohol Alcohol. 2001; 36(3): 256-261.

Affiliation

Drugs and Alcohol Research Group, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Valladolid, 47005 Valladolid and National Traffic Agency, Josefa Valcarcel 28, 28027 Madrid, Spain.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2001, Oxford University Press)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

11373264

Abstract

This paper analyses the alcohol consumption patterns in Spanish drivers, the incidence of alcohol-related problems and attempts to ascertain whether, in the end, drivers with alcohol-related problems are considered fit or unfit to drive. In accordance with Spanish and European Union legislation, driving licences cannot be issued or renewed to people suffering from alcohol-related problems. A medical, psychological and eyesight evaluation was performed to test the driving fitness of 8043 drivers attending 25 Medical Driving Test Centres on a national scale. Among other things, information was collected on the patterns of alcohol consumption, the AUDIT and CAGE tests, the incidence of alcohol-related problems (DSM-IV criteria for abuse, dependence and alcohol-induced disorder), as well as an evaluation of their fitness to drive. In all, 60.3% of drivers drink alcohol on a regular basis; 7.3% of drivers scored > or = 8 points in the AUDIT test, and 2% met criteria for DSM-IV alcohol abuse, dependence or induced disorder. Drivers with alcohol-related problems have been involved in traffic accidents (23.2%) and have infringed driving regulations (18.7%) more frequently (P < 0.0001) than those without alcohol-related problems. Of those with alcohol-related problems, 72.2% were considered fit to drive. The study reveals that alcohol consumption is common among drivers, that a significant number of drivers have alcohol-related problems, and that three in four of the latter were considered fit to drive.

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