Intoxication Rates Among Teens Killed in Car Crashes.

The above chart shows the percentage of teens drivers killed in car crashes who were legally intoxicated during 2001, the most recent year for which data is available.

On average, about one in five teen drivers killed in car crashes were legally drunk. Young male drivers killed in crashes are twice as likely to have been drinking as their female counterparts (27% compared to 13%).

Additionally, young drivers who drink are less likely to wear their seat belts. Almost 80% of young drivers killed in alcohol-related crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident


Some Facts and Myths about Drinking and Driving

Fact:  Every thirty minutes someone dies in a drunk driving crash.

Fact:  Last year over 1 million people were injured in a drunk driving crash.

Fact:  44.3 percent of the deaths were alcohol related

Fact: During a typical weekend, an average of one teenager dies each hour in a car crash. Nearly 50% of those crashes involve alcohol.

Fact: After just one drink a teen can blow a .02 if given a breathalyzer test by an officer.

Myth: Alcohol gives you energy.

Nope. It's a depressant. It slows down your ability to think, speak, move and all that other stuff you like to do.

Myth: Switching between beer, wine and liquor will make you more drunk than sticking to one type of alcohol.

Whatever! Your blood alcohol content (BAC - the percent of alcohol in your blood) is what determines how drunk you are. Not the flavors you selected. Alcohol is alcohol.

Myth: You'll get drunk a lot quicker with hard liquor than with a beer or wine cooler.

Did we mention that alcohol is alcohol?

Myth: Everybody reacts the same to alcohol.

Not hardly. There are dozens of factors that affect reactions to alcohol - body weight, time of day, how you feel mentally, body chemistry, your expectations, and the list goes on and on.

Myth: A cold shower or a cup of coffee will sober someone up.

Not on your life. Nothing sobers you up but time. With coffee, you're simply a wide-awake drunk!

Myth: It's just beer. It can't permanently damage you.

Large amounts of alcohol can do major damage to your digestive system. You can hurt your heart, liver, stomach, and several other critical organs as well as losing years from your life.

Myth: It's none of my business if a friend is drinking too much.

If you are a real friend, it is your business. You can't make someone change but you can be honest. Maybe they'll listen. You might even talk them into getting help.

Myth: The worst thing that can happen is a raging hangover.

Sorry. If you drink enough alcohol, fast enough, you can get an amount in your body that can kill you in only a few hours.

Myth: Drugs are a bigger problem than alcohol.

Alcohol kills more young people than cocaine, heroin, and every other illegal drug combined. Eighteen million Americans are addicted to alcohol or have alcohol abuse issues. Alcohol is the No. 1 drug problem of today's youth.

Myth: Alcohol makes you more sexy.

The more you drink, the less you think. Alcohol may loosen you up and make someone more interested in sex, but it interferes with the body's ability to perform. And then there's pregnancy, AIDS, sexual assault, car crashes and worse, to worry about. Not sexy at all.

Myth: People who drink too much only hurt themselves.

Every person who drinks has a mother, grandfather, sister, aunt, best friend, boyfriend or girlfriend who worries about them. Each of the 18 million problem drinkers in this country affects four other people.

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers