Highway Safety

Underage Drinking

National and South Dakota surveys of high school students have shown that nearly half of high school students drank in the past 30 days and many drove after drinking or rode with someone who had been drinking. Youth who drink alcohol have more problems in school, social problems, are more likely to die in car crashes, abuse other drugs, and develop alcohol dependence. The Surgeon General has outlined a number of strategies that require action from national, state, and local levels to combat underage drinking. These strategies include enforcing drinking age laws, development of campaigns to target youth and parents, and support of alcohol prevention community based programs.

In South Dakota, 15.9% of drinking drivers in fatal traffic crashes in 2008 were under the legal drinking age.

Since 1988, each state has received a EUDL (Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws) block grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. In South Dakota, this block grant is administered by the Office of Highway Safety. The Office of Highway Safety provides grant funding to law enforcement and community organizations for alcohol prevention education, liquor retailer training, and enforcement of underage drinking laws.

Links:

Center for Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws

www.udetc.org

Parents Matter South Dakota

www.safesouthdakota.com

MADD

www.why21.org