Drinking and Driving by U.S. High School Students

Drinking and driving among high school students in the United States dropped by over half (54%) between 1991 and 2011.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed data from national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS) to identify self-reported drinking and driving among high school students age 16 and older during the 30 days before each survey. The proportion dropped from 22.3% down to 10.3%.

Most drivers under the age of 21 who have been drinking and are involved in fatal crashes have blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) significantly higher than the legal limit of .08 for adults age 21 and older.

Although the rate of drinking and driving among high school students is still too high, there has been dramatic progress. This is reflected in the significant drops in alcohol-related traffic fatalities involving drivers under the age of 21.

 

Resources

  • Vital signs: drinking and driving among high school students aged ≥16 years - United States, 1991-2011. MMWR: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2012, 61(39), 796-800.

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