Alcohol may protect the brain during an accident - CNN.com: "It's not clear why alcohol might be helpful, although it could dampen the impact of catecholamines, hormones like adrenaline and dopamine that are released by the body after a traumatic injury, according to Salim. 'We think [the blood alcohol] may attenuate that response,' he says.
Alcohol may also help lower the body's core temperature, says David Hovda, Ph.D., a professor of neurosurgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the director of UCLA's Brain Injury Research Center. Lower body temperatures are known to slow cell death and swelling caused by severe brain injuries."
It seems that often the drunk driver lives and the sober people in the other car die. Can it be that the alcohol protects the drunk's brain?