Driving after drug or alcohol use by US high school seniors, 2001-2011

Am J Public Health. 2013 Nov;103(11):2027-34. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301246. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


Objectives: We examined prevalence, trends, and correlates of driving or riding after use of drugs or alcohol among US high school seniors from 2001 to 2011.

Methods: Data come from Monitoring the Future, an annual survey of nationally representative samples of high school seniors. We used logistic regressions with data from more than 22,000 respondents to examine multivariate associations with demographic and lifestyle factors.

Results: Large numbers of US high school seniors put themselves and others at great risk of harm by driving after using marijuana or other illicit drugs or drinking alcohol or by riding in a vehicle whose driver had used marijuana, other illicit drugs, or alcohol. Driving after drinking has declined in recent years, but driving after use of marijuana has increased. A higher percentage of students reported driving after using marijuana than after having 5 or more alcoholic drinks. Risky driving and riding behaviors differed little between demographic subgroups but considerably according to lifestyle factors.

Conclusions: Stronger efforts are needed to combat adolescent driving under the influence of illicit drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking
  • Schools
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Students*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology