New Year's Eve Brings a Dangerous Mix of Teens and Alcohol

underage drinking on new year's eve

New Year's Eve celebrations may be over, but unfortunately, the night can have lasting effects for many families as their teens get behind the wheel. A recent study found that over 1 in 10 teenagers drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol on New Year's Eve.

The study, which focused on high school juniors and seniors, found that part of the problem may be a growing tolerance of underage drinking among parents. According to researchers:

  • Thirty-seven percent of teens are allowed to drink in front of their parents, up seven percent from two years ago.
  • Forty-seven percent are allowed to attend parties where there will be alcohol, up nine percent from two years ago.

There were several positive findings as well:

  • Eight-seven percent of teenagers said they would ask someone who was under the influence not to drive.
  • Ninety-two percent said they would give up the keys if a passenger asked them to.

The study was commissioned by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions.

Pennsylvania recently enacted tougher underage drunk driving laws. Convicted underage drunk drivers face a 12- to 18-month license suspension, 48 hours to six months in jail, and fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.

Source: "Study: Teen drivers often impaired on New Year's." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 31, 2012.