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DRUID - Driving under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol and Medicines

The road transport system is one of the most hazardous and most expensive in terms of human lives in the European Union. As the EC White Paper suggests, the present level of investment in road safety fails to reflect the severity of the situation. Currently the EU spends less than 5 % of the total cost of those accidents on developing safety countermeasures. However, a modern European transport system capable of upholding sustainable development within the EU must be reliable, safe and efficient. As consumption of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, drugs and certain medicines are likely to endanger the drivers aptitude and impaired driving is still one of the major causes for road accidents, some active steps have to be taken to reach the goal of a 50 % reduction in the number of road deaths in the EU.

The objective of DRUID is to give scientific support to the EU transport policy to reach the 2010th road safety target by establishing guidelines and measures to combat impaired driving.

DRUID will

  • conduct reference studies of the impact on fitness to drive for alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines and give new insights to the real degree of impairment caused by psychoactive substances and their actual impact on road safety,
  • generate recommendations for the definition of analytical and risk thresholds,
  • analyse the prevalence of alcohol and other psychoactive substances in accidents and in general driving, set up a comprehensive and efficient epidemiological database,
  • evaluate "good practice" for detection and training measures for road traffic police allowing a legal monitoring of drivers,
  • establish an appropriate classification system of medicines affecting driving ability, give recommendations for its implementation and create a framework to position medicines according to a labelling system,
  • evaluate the efficiency of strategies of prevention, penalisation and rehabilitation, considering the difficulties of appropriate evaluation strategies for combined substance use and recommend "good practice",
  • define strategies of driving bans, combining the road safety objectives with the individual´s need for mobility,
  • define the responsibility of health care professionals for patients consuming psychoactive substances and their impact on road safety, elaborate guidelines and make information available and applicable for all European countries.

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