Alcohol Violations and Aviation Accidents: Findings from the U.S. Mandatory Alcohol Testing Program

Since 1995, there has been mandatory alcohol testing in the United States' aviation industry. The authors examine alcohol violation prevalence and how alcohol violations are associated with aviation accidents among those employed in safety-sensitive aviation functions. The authors analyzed 1995-2002 data from post-accident alcohol testing programs and random alcohol testing the Federal Aviation Administration received from major airlines. Refusing to submit to testing or having an alcohol level of ≥ 0.04% provided the definition of a violation. The case-control method was used to estimate attributable and relative accident involvement risk with alcohol violation associations. A total of 440 violations, with an overall 0.09% prevalence rate and flight crew 0.03% prevalence rate, were obtained through random alcohol testing during the study period. An increased but not statistically significant accident involvement risk, attributed to 0.13% of aviation accidents, was associated with alcohol violations (odds ratio 2.56, 95% confidence interval 0.81-7.08). The authors conclude that it is rare, among major airlines in the United States, for employees with safety-sensitive functions to have alcohol violations, and that those violations have a negligible aviation accident role.

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  • Authors:
    • Li, Guohua
    • Baker, Susan P
    • Qiang, Yandong
    • Rebok, George W
    • McCarthy, Melissa L
  • Publication Date: 2007-5


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01055388
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 7 2007 12:09PM