Teenage Drunk Driving Down More Than Half According to CDC
Teens driving drunk, but numbers better than a generation ago.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: October 12th, 2012
It appears today's teens are better than their parents at staying away from the wheel when they're not sober.
new study is out concerning teenagers and drunk driving, and it's a mixed bag. The bad news is that too many teens—as many as one in 10—say they've driven drunk, according to a Center for Disease Control study. The good news is that nine in 10 teens are getting the message and staying sober behind the wheel, according to the data, which is from 2011.
It appears today's teens are better than their parents at staying away from the wheel when they're not sober. While potentially 2.4 million teens are still driving drunk each month, there's some solace to be taken in the fact that teenage drunk driving has fallen 54 percent since 1991, according to the study.
That doesn't mean all is well and good on the roads. The CDC notes that even when sober, teens are still a high-risk group for accidents and fatalities. Not to mention that teens aren't allowed to drink even when not driving.
There are some other scary numbers. 85 percent of the teens who did drive drunk admitted to consuming five or more drinks within an hour or two--binge drinking--and around 20 percent of teens involved in fatal crashes had alcohol in their systems. Of those, about 81 percent had enough alcohol in their system to be declared legally drunk.
It's unclear from the study's results what these numbers actually mean, though. It's been widely reported that fewer teens are driving than ever before, a fact which could account for up to fifteen-precent of the fifty-four-percent drop in teen drunk driving. Also, the study does not include data from Washington, Orgeon, Nevada, California, Pensylvania, and others. And given that California is the most populous state in the country, the missing data from this state would presumably have a major effect on the results of any study of teen drinking and driving.