Effect of the zero-tolerance drinking and driving law on mortality due to road traffic accidents according to the type of victim, sex, and age in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: An interrupted time series study

Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate the effect of the Brazilian zero-tolerance drinking and driving law on mortality rates due to road traffic accidents according to the type of victim, sex, and age.

Methods: An interrupted time series design was used to compare yearly mortality rates due to road traffic accidents in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before and after the zero-tolerance drinking and driving law came into effect on June 19, 2008. Yearly mortality rates were compared according to the type of victim: pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, and vehicle occupant. We used the Prais-Winsten procedure of autoregression in the analysis of time series; the outcome of this analysis was the annual percentage change in the rates. Overall and stratified analyses were conducted to investigate whether the zero-tolerance drinking and driving law may have had a distributional effect on mortality rates due to road traffic accidents depending on sex and age group; a significance level of P < .01 was accepted.

Results: From 1999 to 2016, there were 15,629 deaths due to road traffic accidents in Rio de Janeiro. The effect of the zero-tolerance drinking and driving law on overall mortality rates due to road traffic accidents in Rio de Janeiro was not statistically significant. However, among cyclists and motorcyclists aged ≥60 years and among pedestrians of both sexes and aged ≥20 years, the effect of the zero-tolerance drinking and driving law was to decrease mortality due to road traffic accidents at a yearly rate.

Conclusion: There is evidence of reduced mortality rates due to road traffic accidents among cyclists and motorcyclists aged ≥60 years and among pedestrians of both sexes aged ≥20 years in the second major Brazilian capital 9 years after the zero-tolerance drinking and driving law was adopted.