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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teens More Likely to Drive Drunk

Often times the most dangerous consequences of drugs and alcohol is when one decides to drive under the influence of them. There is no way to predict what might go wrong when you are behind the wheel; minors are especially unaware of this fact considering that teenagers think they know everything. It turns out that teens are more likely to drive under the influence than any other age group according to a new survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The administration found that, in the last year on average, 13.2 percent of all persons 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol and 4.3 percent of this age group drove under the influence of illicit drugs.

The numbers varied from state to state which is not all that surprising considering the different variables, how strict a state is on drunk driving and how well teenagers are educated regarding the dangers of being intoxicated behind the wheel is not always the same. Here you can view how the numbers varied:
  • Highest Drunk Driving - Wisconsin (23.7 percent) and
    North Dakota (22.4 percent)
  • Highest Drugged Driving - Rhode Island (7.8 percent)
    and Vermont (6.6 percent)
  • Lowest Drunk Driving - Utah (7.4 percent) and
    Mississippi (8.7 percent)
  • Lowest Drugged Driving - Iowa (2.9 percent) and
    New Jersey (3.2 percent)
In 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) census, one in three motor vehicle fatalities (33 percent) with known drug test results tested positive for drugs. "Thousands of people die each year as a result of drunk and drugged driving, and the lives of thousands of family members and friends left behind are forever scarred, said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. The more intensive the alcohol and drug education courses are, the better numbers we will see; states need to continue staying tough on intoxicate drivers in order for the numbers to drop. "State Estimates of Drunk and Drugged Driving is based on the combined data from the 2002 to 2005 and 2006 to 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and involves responses from more than 423,000 respondents aged 16 or over", according to Consumer Affairs.

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