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Teen Drunk Driving Is Decreasing, CDC Reports

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TEEN DRUNK DRIVING
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Fewer teens are drinking and driving, according to a new government report.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that drunk driving among teens has decreased by 54 percent over the last 20 years.

The study included data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System between 1991 and 2011 (there were anywhere from 10,904 to 16,410 students who participated each year). Among the findings:

- In 2011, nine out of 10 teens ages 16 and older said that they didn't drink and drive.

- Binge drinking seemed to be linked with drunk driving in teens. Specifically, 85 percent of teens who said that they had driven under the influence of alcohol in the last month also said that they had participated in binge drinking (five or more drinks).

- High-school boys who were at least age 18 were the most likely to say that they'd driven drunk -- 18 percent -- while 16-year-old high-school girls were the least likely to say they'd driven drunk -- 6 percent.

"We are moving in the right direction. Rates of teen drinking and driving have been cut in half in 20 years," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement. "But we must keep up the momentum -- one in 10 high school teens, aged 16 and older, drinks and drives each month, endangering themselves and others."

According to previous research reported by the CDC, more than 40 percent of high-schoolers have admitted to drinking alcohol in some amount over the previous month.

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