Drinking and driving among teenagers in high school has fallen by 54 percent since 1991, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Still, the dangerous problem persists. Almost 1 million high school students drank alcohol and drove in 2011, and teens drove an average 2.4 million times a month after drinking.
Eighty-five percent of teens in high school who reported drinking and driving in the previous month also said they had consumed at least five alcoholic drinks in a two-hour period.
Teen drivers already are three times more likely than older drivers to be involved in fatal car wrecks. Drinking alcohol raises the risk. One in five teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had some alcohol in their systems in 2010. Among those drivers, 81 percent had blood alcohol concentrations above the legal limit for adults, which is .08 percent.
The report says parental involvement as well as zero-tolerance laws, the minimum legal drinking age and graduated driver licensing systems help keep teens safe on the road.