JCU study links drownings and alcohol
James Cook University researchers say more than 40 percent of people who drowned in rivers over the 10 years to 2012 had alcohol in their system. This world first study found:
Rivers was the leading location for drowning with 770 people drowned in rivers in Australia between July 2002 and June 2012.
Alcohol was found in 314 cases (40.8%).
For the 314 cases where alcohol was present, 196 (70.3%) registered a BAC of ≥0.05%.
Of those aged 18 years and over 40.3% recorded a BAC of greater than 0.20% (4 time the legal driving limit)
Over half (56.1%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander river drowning victims recorded known positive alcohol involvement.
The 55-64 years age group recorded the highest proportion of drowning cases with known positive alcohol involvement (50.5%).
Alcohol related river drowning more likely in evening and early morning hours.
The research has been undertaken in partnership with the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia who are working towards preventing river drowning deaths. This information is being used by the Royal Life Saving in their Respect the River program to reduced river drowning deaths.
Associate Professor Richard Franklin.
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