Drunk Driving Still a Major Problem Among Teens
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Despite Improvements, Drunk Driving Still a Major Problem Among Teens

drunk driver road test

A recently released survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that teenagers and young adults of legal drinking age may be less likely to drive drunk as compared to the previous generation. The non-scientific survey required study participants to self-report their activities.

The results indicated that in 2014, 38% fewer young adults who were at least 21 years of age drove while under the influence of alcohol as compared to 2002. Among individuals who were between 16 and 20 years of age, 16.2% reported drinking and driving in 2002. In 2014 that percentage had declined to 6.6%. The authors of the survey suggested that multiple factors may be to thank for these results.

Educational campaigns designed to highlight the many dangers of drunk driving probably played a significant role in these improvements, along with increased efforts by law enforcement agencies, such as sobriety checkpoints.

DUI still far too commonplace

Although the results of this informal survey are encouraging, drunk driving is still clearly a significant problem. Far too many people in New York City, Long Island, and across the country lose their lives or suffer serious injuries due to the recklessness of intoxicated individuals who choose to get behind the wheel. For instance, the survey indicated that in 2014, 18 percent of respondents ages 21 through 25 admitted to driving while intoxicated at least once during the previous 12 months.

Such a high percentage is alarming in and of itself, especially given that the results of a non-scientific survey are questionable at best. The true percentage could be higher. The survey failed to require study respondents to indicate how they would define “intoxication.” One person may not consider himself to be intoxicated after consuming two alcoholic beverages, while another person may consider himself to be significantly impaired after consuming the same amount of alcohol.

Furthermore, in 2013, 2,163 teenagers lost their lives in car accidents. Among teenagers involved in fatal car crashes, 17% were intoxicated at the time. Another problem of increasing concern is the incidence rate of smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel. As more states legalize medical or recreational marijuana, experts have tried to determine the extent to which this might affect the safety of the nation’s roadways.

Encouragingly, this CDC survey suggests that from 2002 through 2014 self-reported data in both age groups do not indicate that the incidence rate of smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel of a car increased during this time.

What to do if you’ve been the victim of a drunk driver

After being involved in a car accident, victims are likely to accrue significant medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other losses. Assuming that the drunk driver was apprehended by police officers, charges will almost certainly be filed. However, drunk driver victims can still pursue civil actions against the other driver to recover compensation for their losses.

If you’ve sustained injuries and other losses because of a drunk driver, you owe it to yourself and to your family to evaluate all of your options. The New York personal injury lawyers of The Sanders Firm will walk you through your legal options step-by-step, and will aggressively pursue justice on your behalf. Call 800-FAIR-PLAY today to schedule your complimentary case review.


  1. NPR, This Generation Of Teens Is Drinking And Driving Less, http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/12/11/459219878/this-generation-of-teens-is-drinking-and-driving-less

  2. CDC, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Marijuana, and Alcohol and Marijuana Combined Among Persons Aged 16–25 Years, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6448a1.htm?s_cid=mm6448a1_w