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Evaluating the impact of criminalizing drunk driving on years of life lost due to road traffic deaths in one megacity, China

posted on 13.05.2019, 15:55 by Xiuqin Xiong, Zhan Wang, Rongbin Xu, Guoxing Li

Objective: Road safety is an important public health issue worldwide. However, few studies have analyzed the association between criminalizing drunk driving and years of life lost (YLL) due to road traffic deaths (RTDs). Our study can provide useful information about this policy.

Methods: We used interrupted time-series analysis to find the changes in monthly YLL and RTD before and after law enforcement began using RTD data from 2008 to 2014 in Tianjin.

Results: After adjustment for seasonality, months, holidays, and the number of people in each district, criminalizing drunk driving was followed by a 11.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1–21.1%) reduction in risk of RTDs and a corresponding 778.1-year (95% CI, 200–1,355.1) reduction in monthly YLL. The reduction in YLL was especially significant among males, those aged 16–64 years old, and suburban residents.

Conclusions: This study highlights that the law can lead to a reduction in YLL due to RTDs in Tianjin, China. Large immediate public health benefits resulted from the new road traffic law in China. YLL provides a complementary measure for examining the effect of criminalization on drunk driving RTDs.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Number 81372950).