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South Dakota Statistics

2016 – Deaths and Injuries due to alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, ages 13-19

2016 – Deaths and Injuries due to alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, ages 13-19:

Number of Deaths: 7
Number of Injuries: 74


Number of Deaths: 76
Number of Injuries: 1024

In 2015:

(SD Youth Risk Behavior Survey)

  • 60.3 percent of South Dakota high school students had one or more drinks of
    alcohol, one or more days during their life.
  • 28 percent had at least 1 drink of alcohol on one or more in the past 30 days.
  • 14.3 percent had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row, within a couple of
    hours, on one or more days in the past 30 days.
  • 18.4 percent drank alcohol before age 13.
  • 27.4 percent of high school seniors said they rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
  • 12.3 percent of high school seniors said they drove when they had been drinking alcohol.
  • 13.5 percent drank alcohol or used drugs before last sexual intercourse.

(From the Journal of Studies on Alcohol)

Nearly 75 percent of South Dakota teens living in permissive households say
they drank heavily in ninth grade. Only 8 percent of children from non-permissive
households said the same. Results were similar for 11th graders (74 percent and 27
percent, respectively).

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States. (NIH, National Institute of Health, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2015)
28% of high school students had at least one drink of alcohol on one or more of the past 30 days.


According to a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs in March 2015, children that are allowed occasional sips of alcohol are more likely to start drinking by the time they’re in high school. Researchers followed 561 middle schools students for about three years.

  • At the start of sixth grade, nearly 30 percent said they’d had at least one sip of alcohol – in most cases provided by parents.
  • By ninth grade, 26 percent of those who’d had sips of alcohol at a younger age said they’d had at least one full alcoholic drink, compared with less than 6 percent of those who didn’t get sips of alcohol when younger.
  • The researchers also found that 9 percent of the sippers had gotten drunk or engaged in binge drinking by ninth grade, compared with just under 2 percent of the non-sippers.

Remember, allowing kids to sip alcohol may send a mixed message, and may affect the way they use alcohol for years to come.

National Statistics and Facts

  • It’s important for parents to know that their behavior affects their kids. The Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention (2011) surveyed almost 10,000 teens and their parents and conducted a follow-up survey seven years later. The study found parents had more influence on their children’s driving than the teens’ friends did. Teens are at the highest risk when they have both friends and parents who drink alcohol: 11% of these teens said they drove under the influence when they were in their 20s.
  • More kids use alcohol than use tobacco or illicit drugs. (SAMHSA)
  • Despite recent declines, two out of every three students (66 percent) have consumed more than just a few sips of alcohol by the end of high school, and over a quarter have done so by eighth grade. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • Given their lack of experience with alcohol and smaller bodies, children and adolescents can have serious consequences — including death — with their first episode of binge drinking. Studies have indicated that continued alcohol use during this growth period can interfere with important aspects of brain development that can lead to cognitive impairment, alcohol-induced brain damage and substance use disorders later in life. (AAP)
  • Ninety percent of teens think their peers are likely to drink on prom night, and 79 percent said the same about graduation night. However, only 29 percent think driving is dangerous on prom night, and only 25 percent think likewise about graduation night. (Poll conducted by ORC Guideline for Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions)
  • Children who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol problems than those who start after age 21. (NIAAA)
  • Teens raised by “indulgent parents tend to give their children praise and warmth but who don’t monitor bad behavior are among the biggest alcohol abusers. (Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs)
  • Nearly half of youths ages 12 to 14 who drank alcohol in the past month obtained the alcohol from a parent, guardian or other adult family member (31%) or took the alcohol from their own home. (15%). (SAMHSA)
  • During high school, drinking rates increase dramatically among teens. Between 36 percent and 50 percent of high school students drink alcohol, and 28 percent to 60 percent report binge drinking.  Among high school students, boys are more likely than girls to participate in binge drinking, and is far more common among white boys than among blacks or Hispanics.

Beyond the Numbers

Underage drinking and driving is not a rite of passage. It is not something adults should expect or condone. When a teen is injured or killed in a crash caused by underage drinking, the impact goes far beyond the scene of the crash.

Parents see cherished dreams of their children’s futures turn to bittersweet memories. Friends who reveled in the illusion of immortality are forced to face the reality of death. Strangers draw together in shock, disbelief and grief.

Statistics give us numbers of underage drinking reports, car crashes, deaths and injuries. People give us a glimpse into the heartbreak beyond the numbers.