WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- The percentage of U.S. teens in high school (aged 16 and older) who drove when they had been drinking alcohol decreased by 54 percent between 1991 and 2011, according to a Vital Signs study released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nine out of 10 high school teens (aged 16 and older) did not drink and drive during 2011, the report shows.
For the study, CDC analyzed data from the 1991-2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. These national surveys asked high school students if they had driven a vehicle when they had been drinking alcohol one or more times during the 30 days before the survey; CDC researchers focused their analysis on students aged 16 and older.
The study also found that: Teens were responsible for approximately 2.4 million episodes of drinking and driving a month in 2011; some engaged in the dangerous behavior more than once a month. High school boys ages 18 and older were most likely to drink and drive (18 percent), while 16-year-old high school girls were least likely (6 percent). Eighty-five percent of teens in high school who reported drinking and driving in the past month also reported binge drinking, which means five or more drinks during a short period of time.
"We are moving in the right direction. Rates of teen drinking and driving have been cut in half in 20 years," said CDC Director Thomas Frieden. "But we must keep up the momentum -- one in 10 high school teens, aged 16 and older, drinks and drives each month, endangering themselves and others."