Study finds teen drunk driving rampant in some states

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, some 2.5% of teens aged 12 to 17, 623,000 in all, suffer from an alcohol-related disorder. Teens who drink are not only breaking the law and damaging their health; they are also putting others at risk. The CDC has found that 5.5% of teens in New Jersey and the rest of the U.S. drive after drinking alcohol. Drunk driving is to blame for thousands of injuries and deaths.

A new study from has broken down CDC data on high school students who drink and drive, determining which states are being hit the hardest by this trend. The study has a list of 15 states with the highest rates of teen drinking and driving, and Arkansas came in first. There, 10.7% of high school students reportedly drive after drinking. The rate of DUI-related fatalities is 4.8 per 100,000 people whereas the national average is 3.4.

Louisiana was second with 10% of high school students drinking and driving. Its drunk driving fatality rate is 4.7 per 100,000 people. Utah was deemed to be the safest state with 2.8% of teens drinking and driving and a DUI fatality rate of 1.7 per 100,000 people. The study also found that 26.3% and 28.2% of teens in Arkansas and Louisiana rode with a drunk driver. In Arkansas, 25.7% of teens drank alcohol.

Alcohol, especially in teens, can seriously impair judgment, vision and motor skills, which is why it can contribute to so many accidents. Victims of motor vehicle accidents have a way that they can be compensated for their medical expenses and other losses, and that is by filing a claim against the driver's insurance company. This might be complicated, so victims may want to retain legal counsel. After investigators have gathered the necessary proof, the lawyer may be able to negotiate for a settlement.

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