Preliminary Survey Results Suggest Drinking and Driving Among Santa Fe County Teens Has Declined

1072660_glass%20sxchu%20username%20Egahen.jpgA national survey recently found that drinking and driving among teenagers has declined by about 12 percent in the last 20 years. The Vital Signs Youth Risk Behavior Survey published by the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the number of teens over the age of 16 who drink and drive dropped from 22.3 percent in 1991 to 10.3 percent in 2011. The survey also found that male teenagers are more likely to engage in the dangerous behavior than females.

In New Mexico, automobile accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers. According to the CDC’s report, approximately one in five crashes that kill a New Mexico teen involves alcohol. The CDC report also found that drinking and driving by teens is more prevalent in New Mexico than in many other states.

Preliminary data from a 2011 Santa Fe County Youth Risk & Resiliency Survey reportedly found that only about 12 percent of teenagers living in the area engaged in drinking and driving. Still, that number is allegedly higher than the state average. Additionally, 27 percent of teens in Santa Fe County admitted to engaging in binge drinking behavior and around 28 percent of those surveyed reportedly rode in a vehicle with a driver who had been drinking. Throughout the state, 22.4 percent of teens engaged in binge drinking and 26 percent rode in a car with a drunken driver in 2011. In contrast, nearly half of Santa Fe County teens admitted to binge drinking in 2003.

According to Shelley Mann-Lev, Chair of the Santa Fe Underage Drinking Prevention Alliance, the recent survey results suggest alcohol use has declined among Santa Fe County teenagers. For example, the number of Santa Fe County teens who reported consuming alcohol within the past 30 days dropped by about six percent between 2009 and 2011. Mann-Lev said although her organization has more work to do, she was also happy to learn that fewer area teens are engaging in binge drinking.

In New Mexico, alcohol-related collisions are all too common. Unfortunately, everyone traveling on the roadway is placed in danger whenever a drunk or otherwise impaired driver chooses to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Anyone who is hurt in a New Mexico accident with a drunken driver may file a claim for damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. If you or a family member was hurt by an inebriated driver, you should contact an experienced New Mexico drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact the Fine Law Firm today if you were hurt by an intoxicated driver. Our capable Santa Fe personal injury lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience representing automobile accident victims throughout New Mexico. At the Fine Law Firm, our diligent advocates are available to help you collect the damages you deserve following an injury accident. To schedule a free confidential case evaluation, please do not hesitate to contact the hardworking attorneys at the Fine Law Firm through our website or call us at (505) 889-3463.

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Teen drinking numbers dropping, by Robert Nott, Santa Fe New Mexican

Photo credit: Egahen, Stock.xchng