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Journal Article

Citation

Fantus RJ, Zautcke JL, Hickey PA, Fantus PP, Nagorka FW. J. Trauma 1991; 31(11): 1517-1520.

Affiliation

Department of Surgery, Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago 60657.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1991, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

1588663

Abstract

Alcohol-impaired driving is a major issue confronting today's society. New legislation is emerging to help curtail this ongoing problem. To evaluate the legislative effects in terms of outcome pertaining to injured drivers, we analyzed the records of 116 consecutive motor vehicle drivers who were admitted to our trauma center over a 16-month period. Medical reports, police reports, and drivers' abstracts were reviewed. Of the 116 drives, 61 (53%) had blood alcohol concentrations that exceeded the legal limit (blood alcohol level greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL) on arrival at the emergency department. Only four of these patients were ticketed for driving under the influence and received the mandatory suspension of their driver's license. None was convicted of this offense, which carries criminal charges and a revocation of the driver's license. Mechanisms for efficient collection of blood specimens and mandatory occurrence reporting are two recommendations that merit investigation to obviate further escape of injured, intoxicated drivers from the legal net. In addition, alcohol rehabilitation and education cannot be overlooked and should warrant strong societal support.

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