Here are statistics regarding drunken driving and underage drinking of alcoholic beverages:
- A new study by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows 43 percent of teen-agers who began drinking before age 14 developed alcoholism later in life and another 10 percent abused alcohol.
- A 1997 national study of hard-core drunk drivers -- repeat offenders whose blood-alcohol level is twice that allowed by law -- found people may drive under the influence more than 1,000 times before caught.
- More than 20,000 drivers are arrested annually for driving under the influence in Kansas. About 10 percent of those arrested are under the age of 21.
- In 1996, there were 3,498 alcohol-related crashes and 118 alcohol-related fatalities in Kansas.
- Of the 20 million junior and senior high school students in America, half drink monthly. These people annually consume 1.1 billion beers and 35 percent of wine coolers produced in the United States.
- Two-thirds of U.S. teen-agers who drink report they can buy their own alcohol. That means 7 million high school juniors and seniors can walk into a retail store and buy liquor.
- In 1996, there were an estimated 4.4 million binge drinkers and 1.7 million heavy drinkers in the United States under the age of 21.
- A majority of Americans -- 53 percent in a Mothers Against Drunken Driving survey -- ranked drunken driving as their No. 1 fear on the highways.
- Youth who drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than young people who never drink.
- Nationally, on average, two of every 1,000 occasions of youth drinking result in an arrest and five of every 100,000 youth drinking occasions result in an ABC action against an alcohol outlet.
- Concerted awareness programs put in place in the early 1980s are credited for reducing the number of alcohol-related deaths and crashes.
- Kansas law defines driving under the influence as having a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher, which for a 180-pound person can probably be reached by drinking four 12-ounce beers in two hours.