Perhaps the most dangerous people who drink and drive are teenagers. Not only are the young drivers usually inexperienced behind the wheel, but when you add alcohol their judgment quickly becomes impaired and the result is often tragic. The three leading causes of death for 15- to 24-year-olds are auto crashes, homicides, and suicides – and alcohol is a leading factor in all three.
Alcohol abuse and dependence affect a significant number of children and young adults between the ages of 12 and 20. The average age when children first try alcohol is 11 years for boys and 13 years for girls. Research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) revealed that adolescents who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.
An estimated 3 million teenagers are alcoholics and several million more have a serious drinking problem.