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HHS HealthBeat (April 10, 2014)

Teens riding under the influence

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates that teens who ride with teens driving under the influence are more likely to drive under the influence themselves. At the National Institutes of Health, researchers saw this in national survey data on teens, starting from when they were in the 10th grade. Researcher Bruce Simons-Morton:

“Teenagers exposure to riding with an intoxicated driver was highly predictive of later DWI – driving while intoxicated – among those teens.”  

Simons-Morton says teens who started earlier and rode more often with a teen under the influence were even more likely to drive under the influence.

Simons-Morton advises parents to set expectations and keep track of their teen’s transportation plans, including where they are going and with whom.

The study was in the journal Pediatrics.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 10, 2014