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The Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, has presented the 2021 Report on Toxicological Findings in Traffic Incident Victims, prepared by the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences (INTCF), with the collaboration of the National Road Safety Observatory.

The objective is to show the results of the toxicological analyses related to the rates of alcohol and the presence of drugs and psychotropic drugs.

Llop has highlighted that in “49.4% of the deaths of drivers in road traffic incidents in 2021, the presence of alcohol, drugs or psychoactive drugs, alone or in combination” was detected. And she added that “75% of these positive drivers showed a very high blood alcohol level, equal to or greater than 1.2g / L, which correlates with degrees of very severe intoxication.”

Similarly, the head of Justice explained that public access to these data can serve to better understand the phenomenon and make people aware of the danger of consuming certain substances in relation to road safety. “That this allows us to advance in the prevention of incidents”, she said.

The minister explained that with this report “an unprecedented level of analysis has been reached: 90% of fatalities are being analysed toxicologically. This shows that we can work from co-governance between the different institutions on common goals, such as preventing a person dies in a traffic accident due to the consumption of psychotropic substances. We have to continue joining efforts”.

The head of Justice has indicated that more and more territories are being reached, and this allows progress in social cohesion through prevention. “The quality of the data allows us to know the reality of each territory and design more focused campaigns that take into account their particularities”, she detailed.

The minister pointed out that Spanish society is increasingly aware of the risks involved in the consumption of substances such as alcohol and drugs while driving. However, she has warned that substance use “is still a reality, and this is also reflected in traffic incidents”; and she has called for prevention and citizen responsibility.

In this edition, the memory has been prepared from post-mortem samples of 1,094 deaths from traffic incidents, 812 drivers, 180 pedestrians and 102 companions.

Of the 812 drivers who died in traffic incidents and underwent an autopsy and a toxicological analysis, 401 drivers -49.4%-, showed positive toxicological results for alcohol, drugs of abuse and/or psychotropic drugs, alone or in combination.

Of the total, 92.3% of the deceased with positive toxicological results were men; and the majority, 88.8%, drove a car, a motorcycle or a moped.

The profile of these drivers, according to the report prepared by the INTCF, is that of a man between 25 and 54 years old, driver of a car or moped, who consumes mainly alcohol and, secondly, drugs.

Among young people aged 18 to 34, incidents occurred more frequently on weekends and used mostly cannabis; in the 35 to 65 age range, the highest incidence occurred during weekdays and the main consumption was cocaine.

In 11.7% of the deceased drivers analysed, the presence of psychoactive drugs was detected. “This shows, once again, how important it is to ensure the mental health of citizens”, Pilar Llop stressed, recalling that the Government has promoted measures such as the 024 telephone number, for attention to suicidal behaviour, and the Mental Health Strategy of the National Health System.

In summary, alcohol continues to be the most detected substance in deceased drivers, followed by cocaine, cannabis, and psychotropic drugs.

Of the 180 deceased pedestrians, 37.8% gave positive toxicological results for alcohol, drugs of abuse and/or psychotropic drugs, alone or in combination.

This year, the statistical data reflected in the report have been made available to the different administrations and citizens through a public access web portal developed by the General Directorate of Digital Transformation of the Ministry of Justice.

In this way, the autonomous communities (CCAA) can explore in a simple way the toxicological results in the fatalities of traffic incidents in their own CCAA. In addition, the web portal allows a comprehensive visualization and exploration of all the data presented in the memory in an interactive and simple way.

In the presentation, organised jointly with the General Directorate of Traffic, the Government Delegation of the National Plan on Drugs and the Road Safety Prosecutor’s Office, the Minister of Justice was accompanied by the director of the INTCF, Antonio Alonso; the General Director of Traffic, Pere Navarro; the prosecutor of the Road Safety Coordinating Chamber, Luis del Río; and the Government delegate for the National Plan on Drugs, Joan Ramón Villalbí.

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