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Rev Col Bras Cir. 2013 Nov-Dec;40(6):438-42.

Reducing accidents related to excessive alcohol intake? A retrospective study of polytraumatized patients undergoing surgery at a Brazilian University Hospital.

[Article in English, Portuguese]



To assess whether the Brazilian Driving Dry Law reached its goal after the three years following its enactment.


We conducted a retrospective study of patients with craniofacial fractures who underwent surgery at a university hospital in two periods: before the Law (2005 to 2008) and after the Law (2008 to 2011).


265 patients (220 men and 45 women) were operated on during this period, 149 (56%) before and 116 (44%) after the Law, which indicates a reduction in the number of traumatisms (p=0.04). The age range between 19 and 40 years predominated in both periods. The main causes of traumas were car accidents, physical aggression and falls. Alcohol abuse was identified in 15.4% patients before and 19% patients after the enactment. The jaw and the maxillo-zygomatic complex were the most affected bones.


The drop in the number of polytraumatized patients operated on at this institution in the three years following the Driving Dry Law was 22%, which is below the expected and desired percentage. These results must be compared to those of different services offering the same attendance type in order to compile data and enlarge statistics. The low index of reduction in the number of traumatisms and the report of alcohol abuse by several patients at the moment of trauma, even after the law, evidence the need of adopting stricter measures to control and punish violators.

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