Research & Resources

The connection between high school binge drinking and dangerous driving

High school binge drinking is associated with other dangerous behaviors, including risky driving. Researchers wanted to understand how those connections changed over time. They followed seven groups of high school juniors and seniors, starting with the class of 2010, from 2010 to 2017. They looked at binge drinking, driving while impaired (DWI), riding with an impaired driver (RWI), blackouts, extreme binge drinking, and risky driving. They found that 27 percent of high schoolers engaged in binge drinking. Binge drinking three times or more in 12th grade was associated with DWI, RWI, blackouts, risky driving, and extreme binge drinking in later waves of the study, including several years after high school. They also found that parental behavior was protective against DWI, RWI, and blackouts for this age group. The article, Longitudinal Associations of 12th-Grade Binge Drinking With Risky Driving and High-Risk Drinking, was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It was published in the journal Pediatrics.
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