If parents drive under the influence, their kids may too

When it comes to driving under the influence, teens are influenced by their parents' behavior. A recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 16 and 17 year olds living with parents who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol are far more likely to drive under the influence than adolescents whose parents do not drive under the influence.

As shown in the above chart, 18.3% of teens living with a mother who drove under the influence also drove under the influence, as compared to 10.9% whose mother did not drive under the influence. However, having a father who drove under the influence increased the likelihood that a teen would drive under the influence, from 8.4% to 21.4%.

From the release:

“Parents play a key role in preventing drunk and drugged driving, beginning with setting a good example,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pam Hyde. “Parents who drink, or drug, and drive not only put their lives and the lives of others at immediate risk, but increase the likelihood that their children will follow down this destructive path.”

Parents, your children are greatly influenced by you. Make time to talk to your kids about the dangers of underage drinking (this online SAMHSA tool can help with that conversation). And listen to the great Stevie Wonder.

Liz Wu is a Digital Accounts Manager at Prichard Communications, where she oversees digital outreach for Reclaiming Futures and edits Reclaiming Futures Every Day. Before joining the Prichard team, Liz established the West Coast communications presence for the New America Foundation, where she managed all media relations, event planning and social media outreach for their 6 domestic policy programs. Liz received a B.A. in both Peace and Conflict Studies and German from the University of California at Berkeley.

Updated: February 08 2018