Alcohol is one of the main causes of traffic accidents worldwide. With a population of 70 million, 12 million vehicles, and 18 million drivers (16% women), Turkey is one of the European countries that has a high incidence of road traffic accidents.
In accordance with Turkish laws, subjects were considered to be positive when alcohol blood concentration exceeded 50 mg/100 mL. The objective of the present study was to obtain reliable and comparable data about alcohol use in traffic cases in Turkey. All cases are admitted to the emergency department at Ege University Medical Faculty. The cases from police officers are described as traffic control cases. Alcohol was detected in the blood of about 54.4% of the traffic-related cases during October 2005 to March 2007. It has been observed that, in 17.4% of the traffic accident cases, the blood alcohol level was 50 mg/dL or less, which is the legal limit in Turkey for car drivers. Alcohol prevalence was 57.2% in male cases and 43.6% in female cases. In alcohol-positive cases; the ratios for males were 1.73 times more frequent in traffic-related cases. Prevalence data will help traffic safety professionals to adequately allocate resources and plan future efforts in reducing drinking-and-driving behavior and thereby reduce traffic accidents.