Factors in Drunk Driving Among Teens

Teens are drinking and driving at much lower rates than they did almost 30 years ago, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.

Since 1991, the percentage of teens who drink and drive has gone down by 54%.

Currently, 10% of teens in high school drink and drive.

Almost 1 million teens in high school drove under the influence of alcohol in one recent year.

Common Factors in Teenage Drunk Driving


The majority of teens who drink and drive are binge-drinking.


teens who were surveyed reported having 5 or more alcoholic drinks before getting behind the wheel.


teens involved in fatal crashes had alcohol in their system.


teen drivers under the influence of alcohol had a BAC of 0.08% or higher.


In North Carolina, the percentage of teens aged 16 or older who reported drinking and driving was almost as high as 9%.

Teenage Drunk Driving Statistics

Even without alcohol factored in, car accidents are still the No. 1 killer of teenagers in America.

Adolescent males are two times more likely to be involved in a serious car accident than adolescent females.

The majority of serious accidents involving teens who drink and drive take place during the weekends.

Because teens are less experienced drivers, they are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations and make riskier choices behind the wheel.

Tips for Parents to Stop Teens from Driving Drunk

    According to the CDC, there are several key strategies that work to prevent teen drinking and driving:

    • Enforcing minimum legal drinking age laws.
    • Enforcing “zero tolerance” laws, where it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive after consuming any amount of alcohol.
    • Implementing graduated driver licensing systems, where new drivers may gain driving privileges as they gain experience.
    • Parental involvement.