Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Important Facts for Alcohol - Drinking and Driving Among Youth


Youth drinking and driving is defined as a youth in grades 9-12 in a NM public school who reported driving a car or other vehicle when they had been drinking, in the past 30 days.


Number of youth reporting driving after drinking in the past month


Total number of youth participating in the YRRS

Data Interpretation Issues

Responses are weighted to reflect youth attending public middle and high schools in New Mexico. The YRRS is administered in odd years.

Why Is This Important?

Drinking and driving is a major risk factor for motor vehicle accidents. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for youth aged 15-20 years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 29% of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the US in 2015.* The rate of drinking and driving among New Mexico high school students has been decreasing since 2003, and decreasing among US high school students since at least 2001. In recent years, NM had a higher rate than the US, but since 2009 there has not been a statistical difference between the tworates. In 2015, the prevalence of past-30-day drinking and driving was 7.4% among NM high school students. Drinking and driving mostly increased in prevalence with increasing grade levels (9th = 6.1%; 10th = 4.6%; 11th = 8.6%; 12th = 9.4%). White (6.0%) and American Indian (6.7%) students had lower rates of drinking and driving than Asian/Pacific Islander (13.8%) students. The difference in rates between boys (8.2%) and girls (6.4%) was not statistically significant. In 2015, the drinking and driving rate was highest in Lea (14.2%), Colfax (13.0%), Roosevelt (12.3%), Socorro (11.7%), and Taos (11.1%) counties. The rate was lowest in Curry (2.6%), Chaves (3.2%), De Baca (3.9%), Guadalupe (5.7%), and San Juan (5.7%) counties. *

Other Objectives

Substance Abuse Epidemiology Report Indicator
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Wed, 16 June 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 19 Dec 2018 08:43:40 MST