Teen Drunk Driving Down Due To High Gas Prices, Study Says

ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that drunk driving among U.S. teens declined over the past two decades due to new laws and higher gas prices.

The report suggests that as a result of higher gas prices, teens spend less time behind the wheel of a car.

According to the study, 22 percent of high school students admitted to driving after drinking in 1991, while only 10 percent of high school students admitted to it in 2011.

The report also found that other factors have contributed to less teens driving while drunk. Compliance checks of retailers and the minimum age being 21 are two other factors helping to reduce teens getting behind the wheel after drinking.

“I chalk it up to serious concerted efforts to save lives,” Jan Withers, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, told Businessweek. “Parental involvement is also very important.”

The report found that male students were more likely to drink and drive than female students. It also found that boys 18 or older were most likely to drive after drinking, while 16-year old girls were least likely.

“As a parent of a teen I know that there’s nothing worse than having your child die tragically and preventably,” Thomas Frieden, the director of the CDC, said in a conference call to Businessweek. “Reducing drinking and driving is something we can all do.”

The report went on to say that the biggest way parents can help reduce the amount of drinking and driving is to get involved in community-based programs which will address the issue.

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