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Accid Anal Prev. 2013 Jan;50:622-7. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2012.06.011. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

The effect of the new traffic law on drinking and driving in São Paulo, Brazil.

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São Paulo Federal University, UNIFESP, Department of Psychiatry Postgraduate Program, Brazil.



To present data on drinking and driving in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, and the effects of the new traffic law (Law 11,705) introduced in 2008.


A cross-sectional study was performed using a questionnaire and passive breath test data to study the prevalence of drinking and driving and the association of drinking and driving with background characteristics and drinking patterns on two separate occasions. The data were gathered from 2007 to 2009 through roadside surveys conducted on busy public roads. Four thousand two-hundred thirty-four (4234) drivers were approached, before and after prohibition, from the south, north, east, and west regions of the city of São Paulo, located in southeastern Brazil, including cars, motorcycles, and utility vehicles. A total of 3854 (91%) consented to participate in the survey and answered the questionnaire. Out of this group, 3229 (84%) agreed to take the passive breathalyzer test.


Logistic regression analyses controlling for gender and age was used to predict a positive breath test (above 0.2g/l) and the impact of the new law. These analyses indicated that, after the passage of the new traffic law, there was a 45% decrease in driver behavior with positive breathalyzer results. Having a pattern of alcohol consumption of at least once a week and the habit of drinking and driving are risks for a positive breathalyzer.


Despite the decline in the frequency of motorists driving under the influence of alcohol, traffic-related injuries and deaths, after the new law, other measures for a public policy related to alcohol should be considered based on scientific evidence, consistency of action, clear goals, community support, and greater reliability in the laws.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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