[Psychiatric research of the ability to drive after driving under influence of alcohol: description of 101 offenders and recommendations for prevention]

Tijdschr Psychiatr. 2009;51(1):9-19.
[Article in Dutch]


Background: Driving under influence of alcohol is very likely to lead to traffic accidents. Nowadays, fewer people are driving under influence of alcohol, probably because of law enforcement and information campaigns: however, the number of serious offenders (alcohol blood level > 1,3 per thousand upon arrest) and recidivists is on the increase. These serious offenders and recidivists are obliged to submit to an examination by a psychiatrist.

Aim: To determine the characteristics of the serious offenders and recidivists who have to be examined by a psychiatrist and to improve current preventive measures.

Method: By studying the files of 101 offenders, we had access to personal characteristics, circumstances of the arrest, alcohol anamnesis, laboratory research results, and to physical and psychiatric research and results. By means of descriptive statistics we were able to identify characteristics of the group and, where possible, to compare these with the characteristics of the general population.

Results: The group consisted mainly of men aged about 40 from the lower social classes who had been arrested for their deviant driving behaviour or for causing traffic accidents. Of these persons 92% were alcohol abusers or were alcohol dependent and, fairly often, had comorbid psychiatric problems as well.

Conclusion: Preventive measures can be further improved by an increase in social control, more rapid detection of deviant driving behaviour, appropriate and prompt treatment of alcohol problems and comorbidity associated with such problems.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Young Adult