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Teen Drinking and Driving: State by State

Of the 41 states with available data for teen drinking and driving in 2011, the rates varied from 4.6% of teens in Utah to 14.5% in North Dakota.

Besides North Dakota, these states also reported higher rates of teens drinking and driving. All had rates of 11.3% or higher:

  • Alabama
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Data were not available for California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, or Maine.

Besides Utah, the states reporting lower rates of teen drinking and driving, with 4.6% to 8.9% of teens reporting the behavior, included:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Work Left to Do

To further reduce teen drinking and driving, parents can take a number of steps, Frieden said. "Parents are a key part of the equation here."

They can lead as examples of safe drivers, and do so well before their child is of driving age.

Parents can also provide teens with a safe way to get home if they have been drinking and driving, he said.

Parents can also consider drawing up a parent-and-teen driving agreement, in which the teen agrees to such terms as obeying the speed limit and contacting the parents if he or she needs a ride home. The CDC has a model agreement that parents can use.

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