One out of 10 teens has hopped behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study revealed this week. That means every month, there are potentially 2.4 million teenagers driving under the influence of alcohol. Hopefully, not all at the same time.
While the statistics are startling, leaders at the CDC point out that teens appear to be acting much more responsibly than when some of their parents were the same age, as the number of teens drinking and driving has dropped by more than half over the past 20 years.
"Nine out of 10 high school teens are not drinking and driving as of our most recent data in 2011," said Thomas Frieden, the director of the CDC, in a transcript of a news conference.
While optimistic, Frieden noted many teen drivers should continue to exercise caution.
"And, of course, even without alcohol, teen drivers are at a much higher risk of having a serious or fatal accident than adult drivers," he said.