Incidences of drink-driving are down among US teenagers, according to the report

Incidences of drink-driving are down among US teenagers, according to the report

The number of US teenagers who drink and drive has more than halved in the last two decades, according to a new report. 

Last year, 10.3% of high school students admitted to drink-driving, compared to 22% in 1991, a survey published yesterday (3 October) by US federal agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found. Part of the 54% drop was attributed to "zero tolerance" laws around blood/alcohol levels for drivers under 21. 

Another factor, identified by the CDC, was that high school students are driving less, possibly due to higher gas prices and a slowdown in the economy.

However, the report found that, in 2010, 2,211 16-19 year-olds died in road accidents in the US, with 58% of those youths driving. One in five 16-19 year old drivers involved in a fatal crash had a positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and, among those, 81% had a BAC level of .08 or higher.

"Everyone involved in the fight against drunk driving should use this not as a place to pause and reflect on the journey to get to this point, but use it as a way to rally the troops to come up with more ways to decrease it even further," said Ralph Blackman, president & CEO of The Century Council, a drinks-industry funded group aimed at tackling drink-driving and underage consumption in the US.