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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


RUIZ, Álvaro et al. Concentrations of Alcohol in the Blood and Risk of Road Accidents: A Systematic Review of the Literature. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2010, vol.39, suppl.1, pp.249s-278s. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: Alcohol consumption plays an important role in road accidents. Alcohol not only alters the ability to drive and react to traffic, but it also increases the driver's risk of injuries and death, the risk of injuries to other passengers and pedestrians, increases damages to other vehicles and properties, quality of life, losses of labor hours. Method: Systematic review of literature to descriptive and experimental studies were evaluated for impact of alcohol consumption, for effectiveness of different strategies to reduce driving under the influence, and for effects of alcohol on driving performance. Results: Road accidents associated with driving under the influence are the isolated most important cause of deaths related to alcohol in many countries. For each increase in 0.02% in Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) the risk of a fatal accident duplicates. Most of the accidents in Colombia occur in the cities (75%) and 53.3% of deaths occur in pedestrians. It has been shown that education offers additional benefits. Conclusions: It is clear now that legal restrictions in the use of alcohol while driving produce reduction in road accidents, even more if accompanied by information and education programs. The knowledge of driving abilities impairment associated with alcohol consumption should be generalized, and the authorities asked to implement legal limits to driving under the effects of alcohol.

Keywords : Alcohol drinking; traffic accidents; alcoholic intoxication.

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