Research Papers

Survey Guidelines to Assess Driver Alcohol & Drug Use

Filename 88.pdf
Filesize 107 KB
Version 1
Date added May 26, 2013
Downloaded 6 times/fois
Category 2013 CMRSC XXIII Montréal
Tags Session 5A
Author/Auteur Paul Boase, Doug Beirness, Erin Beasley


The purpose of this document is to outline a guideline for conducting roadside surveys to determine the prevalence of alcohol and drug use among drivers. Roadside surveys of alcohol use among drivers have been used for many years. The technique involves randomly selecting drivers from the traffic flow and asking them to provide a sample of breath. Whereas other measures of the drinking-driving problem rely on official reports of events that have come to attention of police (i.e., crashes and arrests), roadside surveys provide an estimate of the extent to which drivers in the general population have been drinking. As concern about the drugs and driving problem has increased, there has been greater interest in learning more about the use of psychoactive substances by drivers. But drugs cannot be measured in breath samples and other media must be collected and analyzed to determine their use. The modifications to the national roadside survey protocol to collect data on drug use involved examining existing methods and procedures for roadside alcohol surveys in Canada and elsewhere. From this review, the existing protocol was modified to include the collection of oral fluid samples to measure the extent of drug use among drivers. The resulting standardized protocol is a practical and workable method for collecting breath tests and oral fluid samples from a random sample of drivers. It is important that a standardized protocol be utilized in these surveys to ensure comparability across time and/or jurisdictions.

Paul Boase, Doug Beirness, Erin Beasley