There was a fair amount of coverage of a new report (10/3) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that teen drunk driving has declined. Much of the coverage has focused on the reasons behind the trend.
Bloomberg News (10/3, Lopatto) says that the CDC report found that “drunk driving among US teens fell 54 percent in the past two decades, a trend helped by laws to curb underage alcohol consumption and higher gas prices keeping high school students off the road.” Citing the report in the Atlanta-based CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the article details that “in 2011, 10 percent of high school students reported drinking and driving, compared with 22 percent in 1991.” According to Bloomberg News, “people ages 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when their blood alcohol is .08 percent, the legal limit in many states,” the report found.
Reuters (10/3, Beasley) quotes CDC Director Thomas Frieden, who told reporters, “We’ve seen really good progress.” He added, “We’re moving in the right direction, but we need to keep up the momentum.” However, the article also notes that the CDC report also showed that last year, almost 1 million high school students consumed alcohol before getting into the driver’s seat.
In its “Booster Shots” blog, the Los Angeles Times (10/3, Brown) details that “the CDC analysis was compiled from data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey.” The blog describes that the “American public and private school students in grades 9 through 12 volunteered to answer an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire that asked about their alcohol use (including binge drinking, defined as having had five or more drinks in a row on at least one day in the preceding 30 days) as well as whether they drink and drive.” The article adds, “boys were more likely to drink and drive than girls, and white and Latino students were more likely to drink and drive than black students.”
— “Teen Drunk Driving Falls on High Gas Prices, Less Alcohol, “Elizabeth Lopatto, Bloomberg, October 3, 2012.