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December 16, 1968

Holiday Drinking and Highway Fatalities

Author Affiliations

Dr. Waller is now with the Department of Community Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington.

JAMA. 1968;206(12):2693-2697. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150120027005

Blood alcohol concentrations, condition of liver, and arrests were studied for 1251 consecutive highway deaths of persons aged 15 years or older who survived less than six hours after crashes in three California counties. Fifty-eight percent of the drivers, 47% of the passengers, and 36% of the pedestrians had alcohol in their blood, usually concentrations of 150 mg/100 ml or higher. About two thirds of such high concentrations were associated with fatty livers or previous arrests, usually involving alcohol,