- Among high school students, 11.2% report driving after they had been drinking in the past 30 days and, among college students, 25% report driving after drinking at least once per month. Older high school students have rates similar to the higher rates among college students with 17.5% of high school seniors reporting past-month drinking and driving. (DSHS, YRBS, 2013.)
- Of the 942 drunk drivers killed on Texas roads in 2012, 9% of them were under 21 years old (TXDOT, 2013). Prevention strategies to reduce risky drinking among young people will reduce the number of drunk driving and fatal car crashes in our state.
- The Texas Impaired Driving Plan recommends Screening and Brief Intervention, increasing alcohol excise taxes, and high visibility enforcement as strategies for reducing impaired driving. Please encourage implementation of such strategies.
- Utilizing evidence-based prevention strategies to reduce underage drinking and driving has been recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility, the World Health Organization’s Alcohol No Ordinary Commodity, and the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. It is important that strategies recommended by these entities be utilized vs. programs that are not proven to reduce underage alcohol use.
- The younger the age at which young people begin to drink, the greater the percentage diagnosed with an alcohol problem later in life:
- Age 13 or younger: 40 percent diagnosed;
- Age 17: 24.5 percent diagnosed;
- Age 18: 16.6 percent diagnosed; and
- Age 21: 11 percent diagnosed.
Grant, B. F., & Dawson, D. A. (1997). Age at onset of alcohol use and its association with DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence: Results from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey. Journal of Substance Abuse, 9, 103–110.