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Panamerican Journal of Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery


Objectives: To analyze the impact of the Drunk-Driving Law on the characteristics and severity of traffic accident victims and to identify risk factors for mortality before and after law enforcement.

Materials and methods: A retrospective, quantitative study that analyzed victims of traffic accidents attended at a hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, between 2006 and 2010, through the analysis of medical records. The Drunk-Driving Law was considered the time frame of this research, and the victims were distributed in two groups: Before the law (January 2006 to June 2008) and after the law (July 2008 to December 2010). Pearson chi-square, Mann–Whitney, and multiple logistic regression tests were used, with a significance level of 5%.

Results: The sample consisted of 1,405 victims, the majority being males (78.01%), with a mean age of 37.39 years. In the group comparison (before and after the Drunk-Driving Law), there was a significant difference related to the external cause, admission to the ICU, and discharge conditions. Factors associated with prelaw mortality were age, number of injured body regions, and New Injury Severity Score. The length of hospital stay and the Revised Trauma Score were considered as protective factors for this outcome. After the validity of the law, in addition to the variables described earlier, the head/ neck and abdomen regions most severely injured were added as risk factors for mortality.

Conclusion: The impact of the Drunk-Driving Law set a positive outcome in the survival of the victims. However, when it comes to the statistics and severity of the trauma, it is necessary to sustain the law with reinforcement of the inspection so that more lives are saved.

Clinical significance: The results of this study provide support to managers on the importance of sustaining the law and the need of implementing new trauma prevention strategies.

Keywords: Accidents, Alcoholic beverages, Law enforcement, Patient acuity, Retrospective study, Traffic.

How to cite this article: Bonfim AKS, Nogueira LS, Domingues CA. Alcoholic Beverage and Traffic Accidents: Impact of the Drunk-Driving Law in Severity and Mortality of Victims. Panam J Trauma Crit Care Emerg Surg 2017;6(1):17-24.

Source of support: The Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP) for sponsoring this study.

Conflict of interest: None

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