Detection and Measurement of alcohol concentration is very important in forensic examination as it may affect and change the decision of the court in legal hearing.
The study aimed to reveal the impact of alcohol consumption in medico-legal autopsy examination.
The study was conducted within 6 months period (2nd half of the year 2015).
Because of known connection of alcohol to trauma and the order of the investigation authorities, many blood samples were withdrawn from autopsy cases referred the medico-legal directorate in Baghdad and sent to alcohol toxicology lab. For screening.
Most of the victims were young adults and middle age group and this is the usual and most common age for drinking (Li et al., 2017).
The vast majority of the victims were males and this was expected due to their intense engagement in different work activities including heavy and harsh jobs in every aspects in a stressful environment which ultimately make them more exposed to various types of fatalities.
Traumatic causes of death were prevailing due to many factors such as stress, overcrowding streets and poor traffic control, different accidents, terrorist attacks, difficult socio-economic circumstances as well as social and family problems resulting in violent behavior (Al-Qazzaz et al., 2012).
The highest number of death was during August probably because it is the hottest month of the year in the country and probably in the world as the temperature may exceeds 50 °C,moreover poor and interrupted power supply increasing both natural and traumatic causes of death.
Positive samples were only almost 9% as it is expected in Islamic country where Islam considers drinking alcohol is haraam (forbidden in Islam) in addition to lack of bars.
All of them were ethanol which is the usual type of alcohol for drinking and only one sample result was methanol probably because it is cheaper and more available and the victim was unaware of its toxic effect (Karadenis et al., 2011).
The study found a highly significant relation between consumption of alcohol and traumatic death as it is a well known fact that drinking alcohol increases the impact of trauma,RTA, the risk of crimes, violent behavior promoting homicide or even suicide due to personality disorders (Impact of alcoholism and Alcohol Induced diseases on America, 2011; Zhu et al., 2009; Schumm & Charad, n.d.; Snowdon, n.d.; Hashimoto et al., 2013).
Only in 13 samples of traumatic causes of death alcohol concentrations were 400 mg/100 ml and above. These concentrations are considered fatal alone regardless of their trauma due to depression of respiratory center (Di Maio & Di Maio, 2001).
The study also revealed that traumatic causes of death decreased significantly with advancing age which seems to be logic as violence and exposure to trauma are more seen in young adult and middle age groups where physical fitness and activities are stronger while older age group prefer to stay more at home and retired.
In general higher numbers of female were seen to be affected by trauma compared to male, this could be explained to be due to exposure to domestic violence, poor driving skill and domestic injuries and the protective effect of female sex hormones that lessen their natural death. Positive male samples were more than 5 times than positive female samples, this is due to our social traditions refusing any women drinking alcohol and consider it stigma against her as well as our Islamic commitment.
Only 12 positive samples were attributed to natural causes of death. In those victims alcohol probably was sharing their diseases in precipitating death. Regarding the positive group (112 deaths), the study showed more traumatic causes of death in male than what was seen in female due to the effect of alcohol on male individual behavior and attitude in addition to the previously mentioned factors (Thompson, 1996).