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Minerva Medicolegale 2009 December;129(4);183-90


language: Italian

Alcohol and road crashes: epidemiological and analytical considerations

Gaudio R. M. 1, Talarico A. 1, Righini F. 1, Barbieri S. 1, 2, Sanchioni R. 1, Brunaldi V. 1, Feltracco P. 2, Vassallo T. 1, Pasetti A. 1, Ramacciato G. 1, Mognato E. 1, Trevisiol P. 1, Molinari M. E. 2, Avato F. M. 1

1 Sezione di Scienze Forensi, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Terapie Avanzate, Laboratorio di Tossicologia, Università di Ferrara, Ferrara, Italia; 2 Dipartimento di Anestesia e Terapia Intensiva, Ospedale di Padova, Italia


The relationship between alcohol abuse and road crashes gets, with an increasing frequency, an important role in the everyday life of all Italian citizens. After the great media pressure, the news about familial dramas and talk-show commentary, in these last few years new laws were approved in order to prevent and reduce the number of alcohol-related road crashes. Therefore, we performed an observational study about the trend of alcoholometric data in blood samples from cadavers of conductors of cars, motorcycles or bicycles, involved in road crashes in the city of Ferrara and its province, considering the present law (D.L. August 3rd 2007, n. 117 C.d.S.) and the age groups involved. Data were obtained from a sample of 620 cases, with an age ranging from 18 to ?67 years, from January 2000 to December 2008; laboratory examinations were performed at the Laboratory of Toxicology of the Forensic Medicine Department of Ferrara, using a GC-HS technique. Among 620 cases of lethal road crashes, 182 positive alcoholometric results (29%); were ascertained; among these, 161 were males (88%) and 21 females (12%). The epidemiological analysis suggested that the greatest incidence is in the 18-37-year-old group and on Saturday. The sample considered in this study pointed out that the number of deaths in the examined period is slightly decreased, probably also thanks to the laws dedicated to car driving while drunk, and also thanks to the introduction of the score driving-licence (D.L. n. 151/2003 C.d.S).

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