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Scary Stats

When you are 21 years old or older, you can drink alcohol safely, but if you drink alcohol when you�re less than 21, it�s risky, because your brain is still growing. Our brains are not fully developed until age 25. Here are some more stats about alcohol use.

Driving

  • Alcohol is involved in about 40% of all fatal car crashes.
  • Alcohol is the No. 1 choice of drug over all other drugs.
  • Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens. Alcohol-related car crashes are one-third of all fatal crashes.
  • Eight teens die every day in DUI crashes.
  • In 2005, 7420 teens died or injured in DUI crashes. Teen fatalities make up one-fifth of all alcohol-related crashes, though licensed teens make up only about 6% of the overall licensed population.
  • Alcohol involvement in crashes peaks at night (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and is higher on weekends than on weekdays. Among crashes occurring at night, 50% of drivers killed had blood alcohol content (BAC) levels over the legal limit compared with 15% of drivers killed during other hours.
  • In 2006, 39% of drivers killed on weekends (6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday) had BAC levels at or above 0.10 %, compared with 21% of drivers killed on weekdays.
  • Males are almost twice as likely as females to drive under the influence of alcohol.

Health

  • Alcoholism affects more people than diabetes, lung cancer, breast cancer, and heart attacks combined and is almost as common as high blood pressure.
  • In 2005, about 492,655 emergency room visits involved either alcohol and another drug (all ages) or alcohol alone for patients under 21. This is about one-third of all drug abuse emergency visits.
  • In 2005, the Drug Abuse Warning Network estimates that 394,224 emergency room visits were related to the use of alcohol with other drugs.
  • Every year, about 12,000 people in the U.S. die from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.

Crime

  • Early drinking among teens is linked to injuries, car crashes, fighting, and unprotected sex. Alcohol and drugs are a factor in about 40 percent of violent crimes.
  • According to victims, about.1.4 million violent crimes were committed by offenders who had been drinking.

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