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Drunk Driving Facts for Parents

Ensuring our teenagers are safe on the road.

A Message to Parents...
As the end of the school year draws near, the Los Angeles Police Department would like to highlight the gravity of juvenile drunk-driving problem nationwide.  Drunk driving is still the leading cause of death among teenagers. Statistics reveal that eight young people a day die in alcohol-related crashes. Many of these deaths occur in the Spring and Summer months when youth activities including prom night and graduation parties present occasions for some teenagers to experiment with alcohol.

Teenagers' tendency to drink alcohol despite laws prohibiting sale of alcohol to minors, combined with their relative lack of experience at driving produces a dangerous combination. The Los Angeles Police Department urges youths to influence their friends to save their own lives and the lives of others by abiding by the law, refusing to yield to peer pressure and avoiding the deadly consequences of driving under the influence (DUI).

Parents are reminded, at this time of the year especially, to discuss the issue of driving under the influence and its serious effects with their children and to advise their children that the LAPD, the California Highway Patrol, and other law enforcement agencies place a high priority on DUI enforcement. The following facts and figures have been compiled for parents and youths to use in order to educate themselves, their friends and loved ones about the dangers of drinking and driving.
  1. One person is killed every half-hour due to drunk driving.
  2. Each year approximately 16,000 Americans are killed in alcohol-related crashes
  3. Alcohol is a factor in nearly half of all traffic fatalities.
  4. Every other minute, another person is seriously injured in an alcohol related crash.
  5. Economic costs of alcohol-related crashes are estimated to be $45 billion yearly.
  6. An additional $70.5 billion is lost in quality of life due to these crashes.
  7. More 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds died in lower BAC (between .01 and .09) alcohol-related crashes than any other 3-year age group.
  8. There were 14 young drinking drivers involved in fatal crashes for every 100,000 young licensed drivers in 1996. This is twice the rate for drivers aged 21 and older.
  9. Each year in the U.S. there are over 120 million episodes of impaired driving.
  10. About 1.4 million arrests are made annually for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics (NHTSA,1997).