Following is an excerpt from the Century Council. The Century Council is funded by distillers but they get their numbers for the graph below from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (NHTSA/FARS, 2013). So the sources are reputable.
Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began recording alcohol-related statistics in 1982, among persons under 21, the number killed in drunk driving crashes decreased 76% from the record high of 5,215 in 1982 to 1,249 in 2011. These fatalities account for 13% of the drunk driving fatalities in the U.S.
Teenage Drunk Driving Statistics
For every 100,000 Americans under the age of 21, 1.4 people were killed in drunk driving fatalities in 2011. The rate of under 21 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 population has declined 45% over the past decade. (Source: NHTSA/FARS and US Census Bureau, 2013)
Despite declines in the number of young people involved in drunk driving fatalities, on average, more than 3 people under the age of 21 die each day in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. (Source: NHTSA/FARS, 2013) Century Council
More than three people each day under the age of 21 die every day in alcohol impaired crashes. It seems like a low number considering the size of our population but, that is more than 1 for every state per month (3 x 30=90 and 52 states). That number is a little more intimidating. That is a lot of broken hearted parents. A lot of mourning brothers and sisters.
Teenage drunk driving statistics from NHTSA/FARS. Use the link to calculate other results or to verify mine if you would like.
Here is a sample of statistical resources gathered by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Males were more likely than females (15.1 vs. 7.9 percent) to drive drunk. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Crime in the United States: 2011”)
Try MADD for more teenage drunk driving statistics and other disturbing facts.
I like MADD’s fact gathering. Everything has good citations and utilizes credible sources.
Legal Issues For Teens Who Drink And Drive
The information below is copied from a respected legal website. I am not an attorney so I don’t get to give legal opinions. This is more general, but better safe than sorry.
The Law on Underage DUIs
Although all 50 states consider it a crime for anyone to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent, the rules are usually stricter for those under the age of 21. In most states, anyone under 21 operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .02% or higher can be cited for a DUI. Some states, such as Arizona and Notrth Carolina, are less forgiving with a “zero-tolerance” policy for underage drinkers. In these states, any BAC over 0% will trigger a DUI. Some states have hybrid BAC rules with .01% triggering some penalties, or a higher BAC, say .05%, triggering a full-blown DUI charge. Find your state’s BAC rules.
Typically, an underage driver convicted of a DUI will have the driver’s license suspended for one year or more. Judges also have the power to order the driver’s car impounded. In addition, the underage drinking driver faces fines that may range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on state law and the facts specific to the case.
The young driver will most likely have to attend drug/alcohol and driver’s education classes as well as to complete a month or more of community service. Sometimes the community service is in lieu of paying a fine, sometimes it is in combination with the fine. There is also the possibility of jail time, again depending on state law and the facts specific to the case. For a first offense, jail time may range from 24 hours to a year. In addition, the young driver will be subject to a probationary period of three to five years.
The Effect on Career and Education
One potentially devastating effect of a youthful DUI is that disclosure of the resulting conviction may be required on college applications, job applications, or for requests for some types of financial aid. The failure to report this information can result in the loss of rights, loss of financial aid, or even charges of perjury, if later discovered. One last citation for them.