College Binge Drinking
According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future study, 81% of college students have tried alcohol at least once in their lifetime and 68% have been drunk. More important, perhaps, is the occurrence of binge drinking – 36% of college students report binge drinking (having consumed five or more drinks in a row at least once in the two-weeks prior to completing the survey.)
The trend in alcohol consumption among college students is a slow decline across all prevalence rates measured. From 1991 to 2011 annual consumption declined 12%, monthly alcohol consumption has declined 15% and binge drinking among college students has declined even more over this same period of time – down 16% from 43% to 36%. (Source: University of Michigan, Monitoring the Future, 1975-2011: Volume II, College Students and Adults Ages 19-50, 2012)
Further the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health highlights that 16% of college students reported episodes of heavy drinking, that is, binge drinking on five or more occasions in the past month.
The Monitoring the Future study (2005-2011) revealed 14% of college students reported they have consumed 10 or more drinks in a row at least once in the past two weeks and 5% reported consuming 15 or more drinks in a row. (Source: University of Michigan, Monitoring the Future, 1975-2011: Volume II, College Students and Adults Ages 19-50, 2012)
In 2010, the rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population was 3.3, representing a 64% decrease since 1982, when record keeping began, and 48% since the inception of The Century Council in 1991. What this translates into is, for every 100,000 people in the US in 2010, slightly more than three people were killed in a drunk driving fatal crash, a rate that has been cut almost in half over the past two decades - down from a rate of 6.3 in 1991.
Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 31% of the total vehicle traffic fatalities in 2010.
Between 1991 and 2010, the rate of drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 population has decreased 48% nationally, and 63% among those under 21. These statistics and others are positive indicators of the gains being made to fight drunk driving, and while The Century Council cannot claim to be the sole influence in these reductions, it is likely we have played a significant role in reaching these historic low levels. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 33,808 people died in traffic crashes in 2010 in the United States (latest figures available), including an estimated 10,839 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater). Among the people killed in these drunk driving crashes, 65% were drivers (6,627), 28% were motor vehicle occupants (2,872), and 7% were non-occupants (729), with an average of one person dying in a drunk driving fatality every 51 minutes.