Hills, B.L., Thompson, N., Johnson, F., Posanau, C.D.
Nearly 900 drivers in Port Moresby were breathalysed in a roadside survey that covered the hours of 10pm to 2am over five weekends. Only 270 of drivers stopped refused to take part in the survey. It was found that overall 24% of those drivers breathalysed had Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BACS) exceeding 80 mg%, the UK legal limit. This compares with some 1.5% of drivers in the UK and 4.0% of drivers in Adelaide, Australia, found exceeding 80 mg% in similar roadside surveys. 7% of the drivers had BACS over 190 mg%. The percentage of drivers with BACS exceeding 80 mg% was found to be much lower on Sundays (8%) compared with Thursdays (27%), Fridays (29%) and Saturdays (24%). If those drivers who estimated that it was less than 20 minutes since their last drink were excluded from the survey, then the overall figure fell from 24% to 17% of drivers exceeding 80 mg%. There was no evidence of different age distributions between the drinking and non-drinking drivers. Only 3% of the drivers were female, but 21% of those were found to have BACS exceeding 80 mg%.
In a parallel survey conducted at Port Moresby General Hospital, thirty seven casualties from road accidents that occurred during the same times of the week were either breathalysed or had blood samples analysed. It was found that nearly 50% of all the road accident casualties, and 80% of drivers had BACS exceeding 80 mg%.