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1-in-10 U.S. teens DUI on New Year's

Dec. 27, 2012 at 10:09 PM   |   Comments

BOSTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- More than 1-in-10 U.S. teen drivers report driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on New Year's Eve, a survey indicates.

The survey sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions, found New Year's Eve was the most common nights of the year for teens to get behind the wheel after drinking or using other drugs.

However, the teens acknowledged this time of year was a hazardous time to be on the road: of the more than 1,700 teens surveyed, 49 percent consider driving on New Year's either very or extremely dangerous.

"There are approximately 3,000 teenage driving-related deaths a year, a third of which involve alcohol," Dave Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety, said in a statement. "Talk to your kids before New Year's celebrating begins and make sure they understand the importance of making smart, and possibly life-saving, decisions."

This year's survey findings indicated parents have become more accepting of alcohol usage by their teenage children compared to similar surveys in 2010 and 2011.

Despite more than 150 cities or counties and 24 states adopting laws which hold social hosts liable for serving alcohol to minors, 47 percent of teens said they were allowed by their parents to go to parties where alcohol was served, 15 percent said they were allowed to host parties with alcohol, 37 percent said they were allowed to drink when their parents were present and 29 percent reported they were allowed to drink unsupervised.

Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD commissioned ORC International to conduct the survey. It was initiated with a series of four focus groups in Boston and Atlanta from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, followed by a survey of 1,708 U.S. eleventh and twelfth graders. The survey has a margin of error of 2.16 percentage points.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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