Page last updated: November 27, 2012
Vital Signs: Drinking and driving among high school students aged >=16 in the United States, 1991–2011

The prevalence of self-reported drinking and driving among high school students aged >=16 years declined by 54% between 1991 and 2011 in the US. The national YRBS, a component of CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), used independent, three-stage cluster samples for the 1991–2011 surveys to obtain cross-sectional data representative of public and private school students in grades 9–12 in all 50 states and the District CDC analyzed data to describe the trend in prevalence of drinking and driving (defined as driving one or more times when they had been drinking alcohol during the 30 days before the survey) among U.S. high school students aged >=16 years. The 2011 national YRBS data were used to describe selected subgroup differences in drinking and driving, and 2011 state YRBSs data were used to describe drinking and driving prevalence in 41 states. During 1991–2011, the national prevalence of self-reported drinking and driving among high school students aged >=16 years declined by 54%, from 22.3% to 10.3%. In 2011, 84.6% of students who drove after drinking also binge drank. Drinking and driving prevalence varied threefold across 41 states, from 4.6% in Utah to 14.5% in North Dakota; higher prevalences were clustered among states in the upper Midwest and along the Gulf Coast. In 2011, 10% of high school students aged >=16 years reported drinking and driving during the past 30 days. 85% of students who drove after drinking also binge drank during the past 30 days. 81% of teen drivers with positive (>0.00%) blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) who are involved in fatal crashes have BACs of >=0.08%, the level designated as illegal for adult drivers. The authors conclude that substantial progress has been made during the past 2 decades to reduce drinking and driving among teens, in 2011. However, one in 10 students aged >=16 years still reported driving after drinking during the past 30 days. Most students who drove after drinking alcohol also binge drank.

www.cdc.gov/Vitalsigns/pdf/2012-10-vitalsigns.pdf

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