According to a study published in the June issue of the journal Alcohol, it appears that
Alcohol may protect trauma patients from later complications.
From the article:
Injured patients who have alcohol in their blood have a reduced risk for developing cardiac and renal complications, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Among patients who did develop complications, those with alcohol in their blood were less likely to die.
"After an injury, if you are intoxicated there seems to be a substantial protective effect," says UIC injury epidemiologist Lee Friedman, author of the study. "But we don't fully understand why this occurs."
In patients who had alcohol in their blood, cardiac complications were reduced by 23.5 percent. Renal complications were reduced by 30 percent.
As alcohol impairs one's ability to avoid traumatic injury (like a car accident), not drinking sounds like the real win. But, if you are in an accident, the booze seemed to help with your chances to survive.
There is reason to believe it does both, but more research will be required to confirm that.