Reports & Research

Current Facts and Figures

Below you will find recent information on underage drinking, including driving-related reports and other interesting studies. We ask that you please return to this section frequently, as our information is constantly being updated.

Driving-Related Reports

Three teenagers are killed every day in alcohol-related driving accidents, while alcohol plays a role in 38% of all underage motor vehicle fatalities. The following reports clearly indicate that underage drinking and driving continues to be a problem:

The Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics Book

Published by the Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, this informative book covers all aspects of automobile crashes in Pennsylvania. Of particular note are the sections which deal with alcohol-related accidents.

For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website.

NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Fact Sheets and Publications

NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 to carry out safety programs previously administered by the National Highway Safety Bureau. Specifically, the agency directs the highway safety and consumer programs established by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, the Highway Safety Act of 1966, the 1972 Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, and succeeding amendments to these laws. To access NHTSA’s traffic safety fact sheets or to view other related reports, click here.

Trends

Overall, alcohol-related driving fatalities have seen a slight decrease in the last few years. However, the underage drunk driving percentages are not falling at the same rate as the overall statistics would suggest. And, as would be expected, the younger, more inexperienced drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes.

Other Studies and Reports

The additional research listed below covers topics ranging from first usage statistics to the commercial value of underage drinking to the alcohol industry.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

Offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this report focuses on the priority health risk behaviors of students in grades 9-12. With regards to underage drinking, the YRBSS determined that nearly 75% of all students admitted to having at least one drink in their lifetime and more than 25% admitted to high-risk drinking within 30 days prior to the survey. And, surprisingly, more than a quarter of students had tasted their first alcoholic drink before age 13.

Societal Costs of Underage Drinking

From the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs comes this detailed analysis of the monetary effect that underage drinking has on society. The numbers are staggering: an estimated $61.9 billion. That outrageous price tag includes medical costs, insurance fees, lost wages, and any number of other influential factors.

Alcohol and Development in Youth – A Multidisciplinary Overview

An in-depth study performed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) that covers all the effects of alcohol usage on minors, from genetics to development to physiology. This report also covers the environmental factors associated with alcohol abuse, as well as risks and prevention methods.

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh283/toc28-3.htm

The Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS) Report

The DASIS Report is published by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and shows first usage statistics for alcohol. Their research has discovered disturbing facts about the correlation between underage drinking and continued alcohol abuse.

NIAAA (National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) Alcohol Alert – Underage Drinking: A Major Public Health Challenge

This report, issued by the NIAAA, focuses on the prevalence of underage drinking and its social and mental effects on adolescents. The alert claims that by the time students reach the 8th grade, nearly half of them have consumed at least one alcoholic beverage and almost 20% have reported being "drunk."

NIAAA (National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) Alcohol Alert – Underage Drinking

This report deals with why adolescents drink, what risks they face, and how their drinking can be prevented. Unsafe sexual activity, poor academic performance, and increased risk of health problems are just a few of the areas explored.

NIAAA (National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) Alcohol Alert – Young Adult Drinking

Similar to the NIAAA Underage Drinking alert, this report takes the research into post-secondary school life. It shows that increased availability, peer influences, and stress from school and/or employment are contributing factors to continued alcohol abuse.

The Commercial Value of Underage and Pathological Drinking to the Alcohol Industry

An intriguing study performed by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, this report covers the costs of alcohol abuse and addiction to the general population. As reported, costs for alcohol abuse are more than for cancer and obesity. This is the first in-depth analysis of the alcohol industry’s affect on underage drinking.

Underage Drinking in the United States: A Status Report, 2005

Prepared by The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at Georgetown University, this report specifically examines the appeals of alcohol to the under 21 market in regards to exposure, awareness, and effectiveness of alcohol advertising.