PIRE Publication - Drinking and driving in southeastern Brazil: Results from a roadside survey study


Objective: The objective of this study is to present data from a roadside survey study on drinking and driving and alcohol consumption in southeastern Brazil. Methods: A cross-sectional roadside survey study using a questionnaire and breathalyzer data is the method used to determine the prevalence of drinking and driving and to examine whether socio-demographic characteristics and drivers' behavior, attitude and alcohol consumption predicted positive blood alcohol content (BAC). The data were gathered from 2005 to 2007 through roadside surveys conducted on high volume public roads in four cities in southeastern Brazil. A total of 4182 randomly selected drivers took part in the research. Of these drivers, 3488 (83.4%) completed the questionnaire and agreed to take a breath test. Results: Overall, 24.6% of drivers had a detectable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and 15.9% had a BAC above the legal limit (0.6 g/l) at the time of the study. Logistic regression controlling for locale (city), sex, age and marital status was used to predict whether each driver would present a positive breath test. Socio-demographic characteristics, driving behaviors and attitudes, and alcohol consumption patterns were included as predictors. These analyses indicated that those who believed drinking and driving was a serious offense were about two-thirds as likely to have a positive breath test, and that drivers reporting a pattern of regular alcohol use were three times as likely to have a positive breath test. Conclusions: These findings indicate that drinking and driving is relatively common in Brazil, and that it occurs considerably more frequently than similar surveys suggest, is the case in other countries.

Campos, Valdir Ribeiro
de Souza e Silva, Rebeca
Duailibi, Sérgio
Laranjeira, Ronaldo
Palacios, Ester Nakamura
Grube, Joel W.
Pinsky, Ilana