Study Shows Drunk Driving Widespread among College Students

Friday, June 25, 2010

So much for prevention programs aimed at reducing drunk driving amongst college goers. A new study has found that approximately one out of every five college students drove under the influence of alcohol over the past year, and possibly half of all college students had driven after imbibing alcohol. These are very disturbing results for a Los Angeles accident lawyer.

These findings came via a study by the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. The researchers followed more than 1250 college students who were enrolled at a university over four years. All students were in their first year of college. The subjects in the study were interviewed once every year to assess alcohol-related traffic risk behaviors. The researchers considered these parameters –

  • Riding in a car with an intoxicated driver
  • Driving after having imbibed alcohol
  • Driving while intoxicated

Over the course of one year, approximately 50% of the underage students admitted to driving after drinking, while 20% admitted to driving while intoxicated. 43% of the students said they had been in a car driven by an intoxicated driver.

Further, the researchers noticed that there was a substantial increase in the intensity of these dangerous alcohol-related behaviors after the students reached the age of 21 which is the legally allowed age for drinking alcohol.

This much is clear - young motorists seem to develop more and more dangerous drunk driving behaviors as they get older. That should put an end to any ideas anyone has about reducing the minimum drinking age to 18, hoping that it will prevent binge drinking and drunk driving. Last year, there was an effort by some sections, including university deans, to lower the drinking age to 18 in a bid to prevent binge drinking. This study shows that binge drinking gets more severe as students get older.