The prevalence of alcohol, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines and stimulants amongst injured drivers and their role in driver culpability: part i: the prevalence of drug use in drive the drug-positive group

Accid Anal Prev. 2000 Sep;32(5):613-22. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(99)00111-6.


Blood samples from 2,500 injured drivers were analysed for alcohol, cannabinnoids, benzodiazepines and stimulants. Overall, three-quarters of drivers tested negative for drugs. Alcohol was the most frequently detected drug. Cannabinoids were also detected at high rates, but the majority of drivers tested positive for THC-acid, the inactive metabolite of THC. Benzodiazepines and stimulants were detected at low rates, and detection rates for combinations of drugs were also low. Males were more likely to test positive for drugs, especially alcohol and THC, whereas females were more likely to test positive for benzodiazepines. A similar proportion of car drivers and motorcycle riders tested positive for drugs, although riders were more likely to test positive for THC. Single-vehicle crashes were particularly associated with alcohol for both car driver and riders, and for riders, multiple-vehicle crashes were particularly associated with THC.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / adverse effects
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • South Australia / epidemiology
  • Substance Abuse Detection / statistics & numerical data*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Benzodiazepines