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State of Health Indicator Report 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

Available Services

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals should screen all adult patients and counsel those who drink too much to drink less. This is called alcohol screening and brief intervention (A-SBI). A-SBI can reduce how much alcohol a person drinks on an occasion by 25%. A-SBI is recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Community Guide), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information on A-SBI, please the CDC vital signs website:

More Information

The New Mexico Department of Health Substance Abuse Epidemiology Section has New Mexico-specific reports, resources and publications, available at: CDC Alcohol Program has fact sheets, online tool kits, data and recently published literature, available at: The CDC also publishes the Prevention Status Reports (PSR), which highlight, for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the status of public health policies and practices designed to address important public health problems and concerns. The 2013 PSR for excessive alcohol use can be found at: The Community Preventive Services Task Force reviews research and makes recommendations to help communities answer the question "what works?" Community Guide recommendations for preventing excessive alcohol consumption can be found at:
Page Content Updated On 11/30/2018, Published on 12/19/2018
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, 01 April 2020 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