AN INVESTIGATION TO DETERMINE WHETHER BLOOD ALCOHOL TESTS SHOULD BE COMPULSORY FOR ALL TRAFFIC ACCIDENT CASUALTIES OVER THE AGE OF 15 YEARS ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether blood alcohol tests should be compulsory for all traffic accident casualties over the age of 15 years admitted to hospital in Western Australia. For various medical reasons, it was found to be very desirable for medical practitioners to know the blood alcohol level of traffic accident casualties whom they were attending. Regarding the law enforcement point of view, it was estimated that 440 injured, or claiming to be injured, drivers escaped apprehension for their drinking-driving misdemeanours in Western Australia during 1973, because they were admitted to a hospital following their accidents. Compulsory hospital blood alcohol tests should have a deterrent effect in addition to correcting the above evasion of the law. Five statistical and research reasons were advanced in favour of the tests. It was found that the various civil liberty arguments against the tests, when examined in perspective, were of little or no consequence when compared to those in favour. The results of the blood alcohol tests could be used to considerable advantage for driver rehabilitation purposes. An examination of the four arguments which could, perhaps, be used to oppose the introduction of the tests indicated that they did by no means counteract the arguments in favour. The paper concluded by recommending the introduction of the compulsory hospital blood alcohol tests. /Author/

  • Corporate Authors:

    Western Australia Road Traffic Authority

    Research and Statistics Division, 22 Mount Street
    Perth, Western Australia,   Australia 
  • Authors:
    • Smith, D I
  • Publication Date: 1974-11-5

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 48 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00132066
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 29 1977 12:00AM