May 2018 Press Release

Teen Drinking and Driving- A Dangerous Mix About a quarter of motor vehicle crashes- the #1 cause of death for teens- involve an underage drinking driver and takes about 3,000 young lives each year. Teens who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash and 14% of fatal crashes. A Prevention Needs Assessment (PNA) Survey given in 2017 with students in grades 8 through 12 revealed eye-opening data on teen drinking and driving in our county:

  • During the past year, 7.2% of students reported drinking alcohol in a car. (PNA, 2017)
  • During the past 30 days, 2.1% of students reported driving a car when they had been drinking alcohol. (PNA, 2017)
  • During the past 30 days, 16.9% of students reported riding in a car driven by someone who had been drinking alcohol. (PNA, 2017)
Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash. (NHSTA) Drinking any alcohol greatly increases this risk for teens. Here are some statistics:
  • About a quarter of car crashes with teens, involve an underage drinking driver.
  • Drivers under age 21 account for 8% of all DWI Arrests and are involved in 14 percent of alcohol related fatal crashes.
  • About one in seven teens binge drinks, yet only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks. (CBHS)
Parents are the most powerful influence on their kids when it comes to alcohol and drugs. Understand that while young people drink less often than adults do, when they do drink, they drink more. Binge drinking is defined as an average of five drinks per sitting.
  • Provide teens with a safe way to get home (such as picking them up or paying for a cab.)
  • Be a good role model and teach them safe driving behavior.
  • Set clear rules against drinking (such as never drink and drive).
  • Put a no drinking and driving rule in writing.
Two-thirds of youth ages 13-17 say losing their parents’ respect is one of the main reasons they do not drink alcohol or use other drugs (SAMHSA). Learn about the most dangerous driving situations for your young driver – and how to avoid them. Get your copy of CDC’s parent-teen driving agreement and learn more about safe teen driving at For more information about the importance of prevention, contact Program Supervisor Christina Olevano at (607) 223-4066.]]>

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