Vol. 21, Number 2                                                Spring 2010                                                       ISSN 1016-0477


 

 

 

PROGRAM FOR T2010 BEING FINALIZED

Abstracts are now being reviewed by the scientific program committee for the 19th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety to be held in Oslo, Norway, from August 22 to 26, 2010. The organizers thank everyone who has submitted abstracts to help build a strong and exciting scientific program.

 Oslo is the capital of Norway, a modern city beautifully situated at the head of Oslo Fjord. The city limits encompass wilderness areas as well as an array of restaurants almost unparalleled in Scandi­navia. The conference will be held at the Oslo Congress Center, which is located in the central part of the city and only few minutes walk from the Central Railway Station with trains directly from the Oslo Airport.

The conference will start with two workshops on Sunday the 22nd: “Recent Trends in Alcohol and Other Drug Involvement by Drivers Killed in Crashes” chaired by Mr. Jim Fell and “Drug Analysis in Alternative Matrices” chaired by Dr Alain Verstraete. Participation in all workshops is included in the cost of the registration. Also on Sunday will be meetings of the various ICADTS working groups and other committees.

The formal opening ceremony is scheduled on Monday, August 23, 2010. As it has been 60 years since the first ICADTS meeting in Stockholm, a plenary presentation titled “60 Years of ICADTS: Looking Back and Into the Future” will be presented by the President of ICADTS, Dr. Wolf-Rüdiger Nickel, after the opening ceremony. The social program includes a get-together party on Sunday evening, a reception at the Oslo City Hall on Monday evening, and a half-day boat trip on the Oslo Fjord. The conference dinner will be on Wednesday evening.

Authors will receive notification of acceptance of their abstracts in early May. Early registration at a reduced cost will be available until May 30.

T2010: YOUNG SCIENTISTS PROGRAM—AUGUST 22

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is pleased to announce that TIRF and Utrecht University (Netherlands) will con­vene the T2010 ICADTS Conference Young Scientists Program on August 22, 2010, in Oslo Norway. The goals of this program are to provide a forum for young scientists to connect with other young researchers in the field; to increase understanding of the many facets of road safety research; to learn more about critical skills needed for professional advancement in the field; and to meet with experienced and recognized experts in road safety. The Program agenda includes a Meet the Expert Luncheon and sessions on career choices, how to get published, and grant writing. More information about the Young Scientists Session, agenda, and online registration form are posted online at www.t2010youngscientists.tirf.ca. Please note that participants in the Young Scientist program are expected to register for the T2010 ICADTS Conference. For more information on the T2010 ICADTS Conference and to register, visit www.t2010.org.

NEW MEMBER WELCOME LETTER FROM THE
ICADTS PRESIDENT

Welcome new ICADTS members!

Full membership:

Matt Webster, USA
Alma Eunice Rendón Cárdenas, Mexico
H.A.J. Mets, The Netherlands
Jayne Thatcher, USA
Wolfgang Grellner, Germany
Mark King, Australia

Narelle Haworth, Australia
James Freeman, Australia
Felix Comeau, Canada
Gavan Palk, Australia

Affiliate membership

Denise Connerty, USA
Katie Wood, Canada
Ronald Agius, Germany

On behalf of the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, I would like to welcome you as new members. You have now joined the community of outstanding profes­sionals in the fields of law, medicine, public health, economics, law enforcement, public information, education, human factors, and public policy. You share our goal to reduce mortality and morbidity brought about by misuse of alcohol and drugs by operators of vehicles in all modes of transportation.

I would like to encourage you to become an active mem­ber by joining working groups and attending our confer­ences. I know you will contribute to achieving the goals of ICADTS in your specific field of work and take the opportunity to learn from others as they would like to learn from your experience and expertise.

One opportunity to share the ICADTS experience is the upcoming triennial conference in Oslo, Norway, from August 22–26, 2010. I would be happy to welcome you there.

Wolf-R. Nickel, President, ICADTS

REPORTER REDESIGN UNDERWAY

After more than 21 years of publication, it is a time of transition for the ICADTS Reporter. We have, of course, lost one of our founding editors. In addition, it is time to redesign and rethink the newsletter. For many years, we have elected to continue with a print publication, but disseminated on line has significant advan­tages, including the ability to expand the length of the current newsletter and include links to Web source materials. We can also maintain a print edition for those who request it.

It is also past time to expand participation in the devel­opment of newsletter content. Over the years, many ICADTS members and associates have contributed material, but the newsletter could benefit from a wider range of contributors. Further, a broader ownership of the newsletter content would make ICADTS a more participatory organization. In partic­ular, the role of contributor to the Reporter could provide valuable experience and exposure to some of our younger members. In addition, soliciting participation from members from low- and middle-income countries could expand the relevance of the organization to a wider part of the world.

To achieve some of these goals, there will be a discussion of ideas for the new, improved Reporter at the general mem­bership meeting at T2010 in Oslo. Any ideas or comments that you would like to contribute in the meantime would be most welcome. Please direct them to the editor, Kathryn Stewart, stewart@pire.org.

TRAFFIC FATALITIES IN UNITED STATES
REACH RECORD LOW IN 2009

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced recently that the number of traffic fatalities for 2009 reached the lowest level since 1954. The projected fatalities for 2009 were 33,963, a 9% decrease from the 37,261 deaths in 2008. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 1.16, the lowest on record. The percentage of 2009 traffic fatalities involving impaired drivers has not been estimated yet. To view the preliminary fatality statistics, go to www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811291.PDF

U.S. PUBLIC IN FAVOR OF USING ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO STOP DRUNK DRIVERS FROM OPERATING THEIR VEHICLES

A new survey sponsored by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that two of three respondents think that using advanced technology to stop drunk drivers from operating their vehicles is a good or very good idea, assuming the technology is reliable. More than 40% said they would want such devices on their own cars if offered the option. These results are the first indication of what Americans’ think about equipping all vehicles with alcohol detection devices that would be more sophisticated than the alcohol ignition interlocks in some vehicles today. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program in the United States is a partnership between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety that is exploring new technology that one day could be developed for widespread use. “The idea is to stop anyone from operating a vehicle if the BAC registers 0.08 or higher, not to prevent drivers from having any drinks at all before getting into their cars,” said Anne McCartt, senior vice president for research at IIHS and an ICADTS member. Even among respondents who said they drink four or more times a week, support for such devices was about 50%. Alcohol-impaired driving is a signifi­cant factor in U.S. fatal crashes accounting for 11,773 deaths in 2008 by drivers with BACs of 0.08 or higher. This represents 32% of all traffic fatalities.

RAISING ALCOHOL TAXES REDUCES EXCESSIVE DRINKING, MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES, AND OTHER ALCOHOL-RELATED HARMS

Raising alcohol excise taxes is a highly effective strategy for helping to prevent deaths due to excessive drinking in the United States, according to a systematic review published in the February 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The review evaluated 73 published articles and reports that examined relationships between the price of alcohol, exces­sive drinking, and harmful consequences of excessive drinking, including motor vehicle crashes and alcohol-impaired driving.

Higher alcohol prices or taxes were consistently related to:

·         Fewer motor vehicle crashes and deaths;

·         Less alcohol-impaired driving;

·         Lower levels of underage drinking; and

·         Lower rates of violent crime, including homicide, assault, robbery, and rape.

The review found that raising the price of alcoholic beverages by 10% would reduce consumption by about 7%. The review was led by CDC scientists and overseen by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Based on the strong evidence from this review, the Task Force recommends raising alcohol excise taxes to reduce excessive drinking and related harms. The Task Force is a nonfederal, volunteer, independent group of public health and prevention experts appointed by the CDC Director. Visit Community Guide topics to learn more about other Community Guide systematic reviews, including additional reviews about preventing excessive alcohol use. To view more information about this community guide, see www.thecommunityguide.org/ alcohol/increasingtaxes.html.

NEW RESOURCE FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSIONALS

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has developed a new impaired-driving Web site for criminal justice profes­sionals. AAADUIJusticeLink.com serves as a resource and reference guide for judges, prosecutors, probation and parole officers, and law enforcement. 

AAA based the development of the Web site on an investigation conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), which revealed that criminal justice professionals are not always aware of or familiar with the latest scientific research, new interventions or news reports by other agencies. At the same time, there is a strong desire among these professionals to have access to the latest research and information. Content on the site, which is designed to address some of the challenges of processing drunken driving offenders, was reviewed by a national panel of judges.

Good information exists about effective strategies, policies, and programs addressing drunken driving. However, much of it is fragmented and not easily accessible for practitioners with heavy workloads and time constraints. “This Web site is an excellent resource that can provide practitioners with a current state of knowledge about drunken driving,” said TIRF President and CEO Robyn Robertson.

In 2008, there were 11,773 people killed in the United States as a result of alcohol-impaired driving crashes. “The online tool enables AAA to better serve its members and the public by providing evidence-based information and resources to help stakeholders become more efficient and effective advocates for the reduction of alcohol-impaired driving,” said AAA Traffic Safety Policy and Research Director Jake Nelson.

For more information, visit www.AAADUIJusticeLink.com or contact Michael Sabol at msabol@national.aaa.com.

THEME FOR 2010 INTERLOCK SYMPOSIUM ANNOUNCED

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation will host the 2010 Annual Alcohol Interlock Symposium, October 17 through 19, in Monte­bello, Quebec, Canada. The theme of this year’s event is “Harmonizing Policies and Practices” with the goal of encouraging and supporting consistency in the use of evidence-based policies and practices across jurisdictions.

With a growing worldwide interest in alcohol interlocks, many countries are currently developing alcohol interlock programs or working to improve and enhance existing applications. To support this trend, the symposium will devote attention to identifying areas in which consistency across jurisdictions is achievable and devel­oping strategies to promote consistency in legislation, in regulations, and in practices (where feasible) for dealing with different classes of drivers. Such an approach can help to reduce duplication, better leverage successes in individual jurisdictions, and minimize conflict stemming from interjurisdictional impediments.

In addition, the symposium will focus attention on the develop­ment and implementation of first offender interlock programs, and engage symposium attendees in the development of appropriate benchmarks and effective strategies to measure and monitor progress in the interlock field in the future. It will also focus on the development of strong evaluation strategies for interlock programs.

This year, the agenda is designed to maximize dialogue, infor­mation exchange and networking. Sessions will involve a mixture of panel presentations and discussion groups to identify oppor­tunities for harmonization in a variety of areas. The agenda will also include updates on areas of common interest and include special workshops designed to meet the needs of interested professionals with varying knowledge about alcohol interlocks. Newcomers are welcome.

Since 2000, the Annual International Alcohol Interlock Symposia has collected the current state of knowledge about alcohol inter­locks. The goal of these symposia has been to advance all facets of alcohol interlocks and support the development of evidence-based programs and practices to reduce impaired driving. Research demon­strates that these breath-testing devices attached to vehicle starters are effective tools to separate drinking from driving. They reduce recidivism by an average of 60%. Today, jurisdictions around the world are strengthen­ing and expanding alcohol interlock programs in a variety of settings.

ALL-YOU-CAN-DRINK BAR SPECIALS INCREASE CONSUMPTION

A recent study examined associations between bar-sponsored drink specials and alcohol intoxication among patrons. Data were collected in a college bar district located in a large campus community in the southeastern United States. Random and self-selected samples of patrons were interviewed after they exited college bars at night on four different nights (N = 383). Anonymous interview and questionnaire data were collected, as well as breath-alcohol concentration (BrAC) readings. Results indicated significant gender differences in patron drinking practices: women were more likely to take advantage of drink specials, whereas men reported greater alcohol expenditures, consumed more drinks, and drank for longer periods. Gender differences in BrAC were very small and not meaningful. Patrons who did not take advantage of drink specials reported consuming more drinks before bar entry than patrons who did participate in these promotions. Participation in “all-you-can-drink” promotions was signifi­cantly associated with higher BrAC readings after ad­justing for covariates and random effects attributable to drinking establishment. Other drink specials did not have significant associations with alcohol intoxication. Study authors concluded that all-you-can-drink special may be the specific discounting practice with the greatest potential for boosting patron intoxication and thus may need to be a stronger focus of alcohol-control policies aimed at improving the beverage service of drinking establishments. (Source: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 2009; 70(2): 206-14.)

ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING PROGRAM INCREASES USE OF INTERLOCKS

The effectiveness of ignition interlocks at reducing drunk driving has been limited by the ability of driving-while-intoxicated (DWI) offenders to avoid court orders to install the devices. In a pilot program in New Mexico, four Santa Fe County judges imposed home confinement (via electronic monitoring bracelets) on offenders who claimed to have no car or no intention to drive. Interlock installation rates for Santa Fe County were compared with all other counties in New Mexico over a 2-year program and 2-year post-program period. During the two program years, 70% of the drivers convicted of DWI in Santa Fe County installed interlocks, compared to only 17% in the other counties, but when the program was terminated, the Santa Fe installation rate fell by 18.8 percentage points. Mandat­ing the alternative sanction of house arrest led to the highest reported interlock installation rate for DWI offenders. Study authors (Roth, Marques, and Voas) concluded that interlocks provide a method of protecting the public while permitting the offender to drive sober and that rates of interlock use can be increased by mandating house arrest as an alternative sanction. Source: Journal of Safety Research 2009; 40(6): 437-41.

SIGNS OF IMPAIRMENT BY THC

A recent study explored the extent to which different clinical tests and observations were related to blood Delta-9-tetrahydro­cannabinol (THC) concentrations and to determine whether the combined influence of THC and ethanol was different from either drug alone. A retrospective cross-sectional forensic database study was conducted among drivers apprehended by the police in Norway suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Investigation was carried out on 589 cases positive for THC only. In addition, 894 cases with THC and ethanol were included. A comparison was made with 3,480 drivers with only ethanol in their blood and 79 drivers who tested negative for either THC or ethanol. Analytical results of blood samples and the 27 clinical tests and observations included in the Norwegian clinical test for impairment (CTI) were examined. No relationship was found between blood THC concentration and most of the CTI tests. Blood THC concentration was, however, related to conjunctival injection, pupil dilation and reaction to light, and to the overall risk of being judged impaired. When THC and ethanol were detected together, the risk of being judged impaired increased markedly. Study authors (Bramness, Khiabani, and Mørland) concluded that cannabis impairs driving ability in a concentration-related manner. The effect is smaller than for ethanol. The effect of ethanol and cannabis taken simultaneously is additive. Source: Addiction, March 10 online edition.

APIS ANNOUNCES NEW WEBSITE DESIGN:
EASIER ACCESS TO STATE-BY-STATE ALCOHOL POLICIES DATA

The Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS), a project by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, announces a new, user-friendly Web site. Users will find the same APIS information in a streamlined design that simplifies access to APIS data.

APIS continues to provide detailed state-by-state information at both state and federal levels for 35 policies. The presentation of this information is now anchored by a new APIS homepage with links to all policy topics.

A new, tab-based format provides direct access to:

·         Background on each policy topic;

·         Data on statutes and regulations for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States on a specific date;

·         Changes in statutes and regulations over time across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and applicable federal law;

·         Maps and charts depicting a current snapshot of policies in each jurisdiction and numbers of jurisdictions with statutes and regulations over time;

·         Policy variable definitions; and

·         Detailed instructions for using the site

In addition, users will continue to have ready access to APIS materials to contextualize, interpret, and use APIS data including:

·         Background on alcohol policy;

·         Enforcement and compliance information;

·         National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Alcohol-Highway Safety Digest data;

·         National Institutes of Health program announcements; and

The new APIS Web site is now available at the unchanged URL: www.alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/


NEW REPORTS AVAILABLE AT NHTSA

New reports concerning impaired driving were published recently by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

·         Preventing First-Time DWI Offenses: First-Time DWI Offenders in California, New York, and Florida: An Analysis of Past Criminality and Associated Criminal Justice Interventions by Laura Caldwell-Aden, Michael Kaczowka, and Nathaniel Balis, DOT HS 811-074, March 2009.

·         Alternative Transportation Programs: A Countermeasure for Reducing Impaired Driving by Lawrence E. Decina, Robert Foss, Mary Ellen Tucker, Arthur Goodwin, and Jamie Sohn, DOT HS 811-188, September 2009.

·         Ignition Interlocks—What You Need to Know by Karen Sprattler, DOT HS 811-246, November 2009.

These can be downloaded from the NHTSA Web site: www.nhtsa.dot.gov

UPCOMING EVENTS

August 22-26, 2010

T=2010-19th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety - Oslo, Norway

Sponsored by ICADTS. Visit: www.T2010.org for information.

October 17, 2010

Ignition Interlock Symposium

Montebello Quebec

Visit:  http://www.interlocksymposium.com/

January 23-27, 2011

89th Annual Meeting of the U.S. Transportation Research Board

Washington, D.C., USA

Visit www.trb.org/trb/meeting for meeting info.

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

11720 Beltsville Drive, Suite 900,Calverton, MD 20705

Editor: Kathryn Stewart

Email: Stewart@Pire.org

The International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety is an independent nonprofit body whose only goal is to reduce mortality and morbidity brought about by misuse of alcohol and drugs by operators of vehicles in all modes of transportation. To accomplish this goal, the Council sponsors international and regional conferences to collect, disseminate and share essential information among professionals in the fields of law, medicine, public health, economics, law enforcement, public information and education, human factors and public policy.

Published quarterly by ICADTS, with support from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This publication is available free upon request. Contents may be reproduced with attribution.