Analysis: Three of top five states with highest teen drunk driving rates are in the South

Three of the top five states with the highest teen drunk driving rates are in the South, Texas ranks 6th, according to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data.

Arkansas and Louisiana have the two highest, followed by South Carolina (4th) and Texas (6th).

Roughly 10.7 percent of Arkansas teens drove when they had been drinking, according to CDC data, 26.3 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking, 25.7 percent drank alcohol. Drunk driving traffic deaths accounted for 4.8 per 100,000 people in Arkansas.

In Louisiana, 10 percent of teens drove when they had been drinking, 28.2 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking, and 34 percent of teens drank alcohol.

Drunk driving traffic deaths accounted for 4.7 per 100,000 people in the Bayou State.

In South Carolina, 7.5 percent of teens drove when they had been drinking, and 18.1 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking, and 25.4 percent drank alcohol.

Drunk driving traffic deaths accounted for 6.3 per 100,000 people in South Carolina.

In Texas, 7.1 percent of teens drove when they had been drinking and 20.8 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking. Twenty-seven percent of Texas teens drank alcohol, according to the report. Drunk driving traffic deaths accounted for 5.2 per 100,000 people in Texas.

Since 1984, after the National Minimum Legal Drinking Act was signed into law, only adults 21-years-old or older can purchase and consume alcohol in the U.S.

Still, in 2017, 29.8 percent of teens drove drunk, with 5.5 percent of teens nationwide reported driving after drinking any alcohol, according to the CDC.

The CDC estimates that underage drinking costs state and federal government agencies roughly $24 billion a year, with motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol roughly $44 billion every year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention High School Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) compiles data on teen drinking behavior.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System compiles data on alcohol-related traffic deaths.

Researchers at CheapCarInsuranceQuotes.com have also analyzed data from YRBSS and ranked states by the percentage of teens who reported driving after drinking one or more times in the past 30 days.

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