One-third of young adults have ridden with an impaired driver

A new study led by a Colorado State University researcher indicates that riding with an impaired driver is prevalent among emerging adults, with 33 percent of recent high school grads reporting the risky behavior at least once in the previous year.

In addition, the study shows that young adults are more likely to ride with a driver impaired by marijuana than a driver who is drunk. The research, published in the March issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, is one of the first to ask about what specific substance was used by the driver and who the driver was.

“Parents should be a role model by not driving while impaired, and real friends should stop their friends from driving after using substances — if using substances cannot be stopped,” said Kaigang Li, Ph.D., M.Ed., a Colorado State University assistant professor of health and exercise science.

Full story at Science Daily

Experts: Lower Legal Blood Alcohol Levels to Reduce Drunk Driving Fatalities

A new report calls for lowering legal blood alcohol levels to reduce drunk driving deaths.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reportrecommends lowering legal blood alcohol levels for drivers from 0.08 to 0.05 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), according to HealthDay.

The report also calls for increasing alcohol taxes significantly, strengthening policies to prevent illegal alcohol sales to people under 21 and to already-intoxicated adults, enacting all-offender ignition interlock laws, and providing effective treatment for offenders when needed.

Full story at drugfree.org

Strong alcohol policies protect against drunk driving deaths among young people

Stronger alcohol policies protect young people from dying in crashes caused by drunk driving according to researchers at Boston Medical Center. The study, which is published online in the journal Pediatrics, supports the importance of comprehensive alcohol control policies to reduce the number of young people who die in alcohol-related crashes.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among young people in the United States. Forty percent of deadly car crashes involve a drunk driver in Massachusetts, and the state falls within the top twenty-five percent for rates of young people killed in a drunk driving crash.

“Half of all young people who die in crashes are driven by someone who has been drinking,” says lead author Scott Hadland, MD, a pediatrician at BMC and the study’s corresponding author. “But with stronger alcohol policies at the state level, we saw a significantly lower likelihood of alcohol-related deaths.”

Full story of stronger alcohol policies and deadly crashes at Science Daily

Ignition Interlocks Prevent Deadly Drunk-Driving Accidents

A new study finds ignition interlocks, devices that prevent a person from starting a car if their blood alcohol level is too high, prevents deadly accidents.

Ignition interlocks are associated with a 7 percent decrease in the rate of fatal crashes involving at least one drunk driver, researchers report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Cars with the device will not start if the driver’s blood alcohol level exceeds a preset limit, HealthDay reports.

Full story of ignition interlocks preventing drunk driving accidents at drugfree.org

Fewer Americans Say They Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol

Fewer Americans said they drove under the influence of alcohol In 2014 compared with 2002, according to a new government report.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found 11 percent of those surveyed said they drove under the influence of alcohol in 2014, down from 15 percent in 2002, HealthDay reports.

An estimated 28 million Americans admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol in 2014.

Full story of fewer Americans driving under the influence of alcohol at drugfree.org