Portugal: One in three autopsied drivers in 2019 had alcohol in their blood, 13% had drugs

One in three autopsied drivers in Portugal last year had blood alcohol rates of 0.5 g/l or more and 13.3% revealed the presence of drugs, according to a report released on Friday.

The report released by the Highway Safety Authority (ANSR), which presents the data obtained from tests conducted by the Institute of Forensic Medicine (INMLCF), reveals that 37% of autopsied drivers had blood alcohol rates (BAC) equal to or higher than 0.5 g/l, a figure only similar to the percentages found in 2010 and 2012.

This increase was particularly significant compared to 2018 (30.8%).

The same document said that 13.3% of drivers who were autopsied in 2019 revealed the presence of narcotics or psychotropic substances, an increase of 1.7 percentage points over the previous year.

The report on toxicology tests conducted by the INMLCF in 2019 also said that the percentages of cases with BAC equal to or greater than 1.20g/l (considered a crime) among victims with BAC greater than 0.5g/l were 79.0% (drivers), 71.4% (pedestrians) and 64.3% (passengers).

Last year, in the examinations, carried out on those involved in road accidents and the inspection of drivers, there were 60.9% of cases with BAC ≥0,50g/l, the report stated, adding that this percentage assumed for drivers and pedestrians the values of 62.6% and 38.8% respectively.

The document also concludes that 10.3% of the examinations carried out on the victims revealed the presence of narcotics or psychotropic substances.

In the case of drivers and pedestrians, the percentage of positive tests was 13.3% and 5%, respectively.

However, the percentage of positive tests among fatalities (10.3%) was lower than in the previous year (14.5%), but in the case of drivers, the trend was reversed, with an increase in 2019 (13.3%) compared to the previous year (11.6%).

In the total of positive cases among fatalities, the predominant substances were cannabinoids (3.4%), says the report, which also highlights the association of alcohol and drugs (4.4%).

In total, 6.5% of the drivers who died revealed an association of psychotropic substances with alcohol.