By now every teen has heard the saying "Don't Drink and Drive." A new phrase may be coming: "Don't Ride With a Drinker," because results of a new study suggest more attention needs to be given to the risks to the passenger when their driver takes the wheel after having a drink.
The study surveyed more than 1,500 15 to 20 year-olds and found that half reported riding with a driver who had been drinking. The national highway traffic safety administration adds that in 2000, 21% of young drivers who were killed in crashes were intoxicated.
While there are strict penalties for teens who drink and drive, researchers say riding with a drinking driver has been a gray area, and that despite campaigns to curb underage drinking and driving, it remains a major public health threat.
The study was conducted by the Prevention Research Center and is published in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.