Senior driving under the influence: A five-year retrospective study of alcoholized road-users aged 70 and over.
Forensic Sci Int. 2017 May 10;277:10-15
Authors: Kirsch B, Birngruber CG, Dettmeyer R
The demographic development in Germany shows a steady increase to senior citizens. The driving suitability of older road-users is of large social and political concern, because awareness and reactivity can be influenced by age-related diseases and potential medication, particularly in combination with the consumption of alcohol. This study provides an overview of senior road-users under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, 404 cases of drunken-driving by road-users aged 70 and over within the purview of the Institute of Legal Medicine at Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, from the years 2009-2013 were evaluated in retrospect. The vast majority of the drivers were male (88.4% of the cases). Distribution of the blood alcohol concentrations were almost equally in male and female drivers with 62.8% of all cases showing a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 1.1‰ and 10.9% a BAC of more than 2.0‰. In 48.5% of the cases, drunk driving was associated with an accident. 54.5% of the drivers stated suffering from at least one disease and 60% admitted a regular medication or an intake prior to the incident. Moreover, the collected data includes aspects such as the kind of traffic participation as well as neurological and physiological deficits of the road-users. If accidents were caused by drunk driving, the external circumstances and consequences of these accidents were analyzed, too. The evaluation revealed, that the standard medical examination protocol proved to be improbable to cover polypharmacy and multimorbidity of older alcoholized drivers. So, an evaluation and adaptation of the common medical examination protocol must be considered.
PMID: 28544918 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]