Drinking and driving among teens in the United States is down 54 percent over the last two decades, according to a study released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We are moving in the right direction…but we must keep up the momentum,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, Director of the CDC. “One in 10 high school teens, aged 16 and older, drinks and drives each month, endangering themselves and others.”
In 2011 alone, the study found approximately 2.4 million episodes of drinking and driving among teens each month.
Among teen drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2010, one in five had some alcohol in their system, and 81 percent had blood alcohol levels higher than the legal limit for adults, according to the report.
Researchers surveyed students ages 16 and older over a 20 year period beginning in 1991. The survey asked students if they’d been drinking and driving at least once in the past 30 days.
The study also found that 85 percent of teens who reported drinking and driving in the past month also reported binge drinking. For the purposes of the survey, binge drinking means five or more drinks during a short period of time.
And high school boys over the age of 18 were most likely to drink and drive (18 percent), while 16-year-old high school girls were least likely (6 percent).
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 28 people in the US die each day as a result of drunk driving crashes.