Objectives: This article reports the prevalence of, and trends in, driving after drinking and riding in a car with a driver who has been drinking among American high school seniors, based on data from more than a decade (1984-1997) of annual national surveys.
Methods: Logistic regressions were used to assess the effects of demographic factors (gender, region of country, population density, parental education, and race/ethnicity) and selected "lifestyle" factors (religious commitment, high school grades, truancy, illicit drug use, evenings out per week, and miles driven per week).
Results: Rates of adolescent driving after drinking and riding with a driver who had been drinking declined significantly from the mid-1980s to the early or mid-1990s, but the declines have not continued in recent years. Rates of driving or riding after drinking were higher among high school seniors who are male. White, living in the western and northeastern regions of the United States, and living in rural areas. Truancy, number of evenings out, and illicit drug use all related significantly positively with the dependent variables, whereas grade point average and religious commitment had a negative relationship. Miles driven per week related positively to driving after drinking.