> The Problem > Driving Under the Influence

Driving Under the Influence


Alcohol is a factor in 13% of the crashes involving the youngest drivers

The problem of driving under the influence:

  • In 2009, 16- to 20-year-old age drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher were involved in 19 percent of all fatal crashes
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • In 2011, 10.3 percent of high school students 16 and older reported drinking and driving in the past 30 days (CDC)
  • In 2008, an estimated 12.4% of persons ages 12 or older drove under the influence of alcohol at least once during the past year
  • Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion annually.
  • Drivers are less likely to use restraints when they have been drinking. In 2007, 64% of young drivers in passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking were not wearing a safety belt.
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • In 2013, 21.9% of students nationwide had ridden one or more times in a car or other vehicle driven by someone who had been drinking alcohol in the past 30 days
    (CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, U.S., 2013
  • In 2006, the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was four times higher at night than during the day (36% versus 9%)
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

What to do about driving under the influence of alcohol:

  • Driving after even one drink is just not worth it. Ride with a sober friend, ask someone else to drive or call a parent or older sibling.
  • Food, coffee or exercise will not reduce the amount of alcohol in your system. Only time decreases the effects of alcohol.
  • Don’t believe you can “fool” a police officer. They are trained to look for tale-tell signs of a driver who is under the influence.
  • If a friend has been drinking and is about to drive, speak up. Offer to drive, take the keys or call a parent.
  • Never get in the car with a driver who has been drinking. Everyone reacts to alcohol differently. If you know a friend has been drinking, assume they are unable to drive.
  • Zero tolerance law makes it illegal per se (in and of itself) for persons under the age of 21 to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their blood
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • Violators of underage drinking laws often face a trip to jail, the loss of their driver’s license, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses including attorney fees, court costs, and other fines
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • A DUI conviction follows a teen, so there is the added embarrassment, humiliation, and potential loss and consequence related to academic eligibility, college acceptance, scholarship awards, and more
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • Most of those killed in alcohol-related crashes involving teen drivers are the young drivers themselves and their passengers
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • Increased efforts by local law enforcement make the chances of getting caught even greater
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • The Texas Department of Transportation conducted a study which found that a first time offender could expect to pay between $5,000 and $24,000 for DWI arrest and conviction