Drug and Driving: A Compendium of Research Studies

Annotated Sources (cont'd)


43. Cusack, D. A., Harrington, G., Furney, P., Flynn, K., and Leavy, C. P. (2002)

Driving under the influence of drugs in Ireland: A growing and significant danger. In D. R. Mayhew and C. Dussault (Eds.) Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. Quebec: Société de l’Assurance Automobile du Québec.


Study of drug prevalence in a group of suspected drivers in Ireland

Type of study, population(s) and proportion tested

Suspected drugged drivers from 1998 to 2002


Drugs examined (threshold values for detection)
  • Amphetamines (300 ng/ml)
  • Methamphetamines (300 ng/ml)
  • Benzodiazepines (100 ng/ml)
  • Cannabinoids (20 ng/ml)
  • Cocaine (100 ng/ml)
  • Opiates (100 ng/ml)
  • Methadone (25 ng/ml)
  • Alcohol
Method of testing and medium used

Blood or urine samples

Drug analysis carried out by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety

Other dependent variables
Findings (including statistical methods)

Of the 1000 below the legal limit of alcohol, 26% tested positive for drugs

Of the 1000 above the legal limit of alcohol, 13% tested positive for drugs

Overall, 20% (391) of the 2000 were drug positive

Of the 391 confirmed analyses, 36% were positive for more than one drug

Most common drugs were cannabinoids (8-16%), followed by benzodiazepines (3-8%)

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