Background According to European Commission’s data safety on Latvian roads is improving in recent years, however fatalities and casualties are still significantly higher in comparison with the situation in other countries. The aim of the study was to examine the prevalence of alcohol in blood samples from casualties in injury accidents (where at least one road vehicle in motion is involved, resulting in at least one injured or killed person) in Latvia from 2010 to 2014.
Methods Road safety accident database includes all the cases for which the police are informed. The cut-off concentrations for alcohol findings in blood samples were set according to the legislative limits (permissible alcohol level in blood is up to 0.5 ‰, but up to 0.2 ‰ for young road users having driving license for less than two years).
Results Out of 22 332 persons injured in road accidents during this five year period, 965 were dead in 30 days after the accident. Alcohol consumption was tested for all persons involved in injury accidents. 7.2% of injured persons and 11.6% of killed persons in injury accidents were caused by drunk driving. Both victims of injured traffic accidents and accidents with alcohol involved were mostly males (60%). The prevalence of alcohol was higher among persons killed twilight than daylight or night time. Drunk driver injured accidents have decreased during this five year period (2010–7.3%; 2011–8%; 2012–5.2%; 2013–6%; 2014–5.6%) but it was not statistically significant.
Conclusions Alcohol still remains important contributing factor of traffic accidents in Latvia. In spite of legislation and public awareness campaigns, situation with drivers, who participate in road traffic under the influence of alcohol did not changes significantly during past years.
- Road safety
- road accidents
- drunk driving
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