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Report—Teen Drinking and Driving Rates Drop by Over 50 Percent

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers. A 2006 study by the NHTSA estimated that there is one drunk driving fatality in the United States every 30 minutes.

 

Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Georgia DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

 

Georgia has a zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving. Though the illegal blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers over 21 years old is 0.08 percent, drivers under 21 can be charged with DUI with a BAC of 0.02 percent. Teen drivers can be charged with DUI in a minor accident if a chemical test indicates that they have a small amount of alcohol in their system. 
 

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of teenagers who are drinking and driving has dropped by 54 percent in the past 20 years.

 

The study reported that in 2011 over 90 percent of the high school students 16 and older surveyed by the CDC said they did not drink and drive. Despite this optimistic statistic, the CDC pointed out that the majority of the 2,000 annual teen deaths are in alcohol-related auto accidents.

 

Those who admitted to drinking and driving indicated that drinking is a serious teen problem. Over 85 percent of those who admitted to drinking and driving also admitted to binge drinking within the previous 30 days.

 

The study examined data from CDC's 1991-2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, a monitor of six behaviors that raise the risk of death and disability among young adults. The surveillance system includes national surveys given to public and private students in grades 9 through 12. Teens completed voluntary and anonymous questionnaires that asked questions about current drinking and driving habits, alcohol use and binge drinking.

 

Among the study's findings:

  • 10 percent of teens reported drinking and driving in 2011, compared to 22 percent in 1991.
  • 12 percent of male students admitted drinking and driving, compared to 9 percent of female students.
  • Hispanic (12 percent) and white students (11 percent) were more likely to drink and drive than African-American students (7 percent)

 

If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia