Underage drunk driving fatalities have been on a fairly steady decline over the past two decades according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA):
Even so, on average, more than 3 people under the age of 21 die each day in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
But the dangers associated with underage drinking don’t stop there. According to statistics recently released by MADD, more than two-thirds of all deaths associated with underage drinking have nothing to do with getting behind the wheel.
According to MADD’s analysis of the data from the FBI, CDC and the NHTSA, the majority of underage drinking related deaths come from homicides (30%), suicides (14%), alcohol poisonings (9%), falls, drownings and burns. That’s in addition to many other impacts of underage drinking, including unplanned or unsafe sex, injuries, poor school performance and an increased chance of having problems with alcohol later in life.
“These data show that taking away the keys truly does not take away all of the risks when it comes to underage drinking,” MADD National President Jan Withers said in a press release.
These findings highlight the importance of talking to your kids about all of the risks associated with underage drinking – not only drinking and driving. MADD has an online toolkit parents can use to get the conversation started.
This Alcohol Awareness Month if you’re concerned about your own or someone else’s drinking, the Frederick County Health Department can help. Services are available for adolescents, adults and families; call 301-600-1755 for more information.
If you’re concerned about a party that may involve underage drinking or drug use in Frederick County, you are encouraged to contact the Underage Party Tip Hotline at 301-600-1318. Please leave the address of the party, the time and date. Callers do not need to give their names and all information is confidential.