Research Article

Are problem drinkers dangerous drivers? An investigation of arrest for drinking and driving, serum gamma glutamyltranspeptidase activities, blood alcohol concentrations, and road traffic accidents: the Tayside Safe Driving Project.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.290.6471.827 (Published 16 March 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:827
  1. J A Dunbar,
  2. S A Ogston,
  3. A Ritchie,
  4. M S Devgun,
  5. J Hagart,
  6. B T Martin

    Abstract

    Serum gamma glutamyltranspeptidase activity was measured in 440 drivers at the time of arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. The results were compared with information gathered by the arresting police officer. One third of drivers over the age of 30 had abnormal gamma glutamyltranspeptidase activities at the time of arrest. Among drivers who required a driving license for their work, and older drivers, a disproportionately high number had raised gamma glutamyltranspeptidase activities indicating problem drinking. In drivers over the age of 30 a strong association was found between gamma glutamyltranspeptidase activities and road traffic accidents but not alcohol concentrations or previous convictions. These findings argue against the Department of Transport's criteria for high risk offenders and indicate a clear need for new measures against problem drinkers among drinking and driving offenders.