Doctors want rehab test for drunk drivers

 

Convicted drunk drivers should face compulsory examinations to find out if they need rehab for alcohol abuse, doctors warned last night.

Public health specialist Dr Declan Bedford told the annual meeting of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) those found guilty of drunk driving should face cumpulsory rehab if they are found to have a problem after professional assessment.

Doctors agreed with his proposal for mandatory assessment, but said the decision on whether they get rehab should be voluntary.

 Dr Bedford said that the majority of people who were caught were well over the limit.

 "Studies in other countries show that a significant number of people who are caught have previous convictions," he said. "It would be a wake-up call if they all had to attend for assessment and rehab."

The meeting also backed calls to make all doctors who sign off on smear test results of Irish women sent from here to laboratories in New Jersey to register with the Irish Medical Council as a patient safety measure.

Nenagh Hospital consultant Dr Christine O'Malley said the smear tests were being sent back here and Irish doctors were unsure of the credentials of the specialist in the United States who assessed the results.