Nationally, the rate of teen drinking and driving has gone down over the last 20 years. It's also on a downward trend in Wisconsin.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly one million teens drink and drive each year. That's far fewer than it used to be. Between 1991 and 2011, there's been a 54 percent decline nationwide in teens admitting they consumed alcohol then drove. In Wisconsin, since 1993, the percentage of teens who drive after drinking has declined from 15 to 9. Twenty three percent said they were passengers in a car operated by someone who'd been drinking. Steve Fernan directs wellness and prevention for the Department of Public Instruction. He says absolute sobriety laws for teenage drivers and graduated licensing have helped; along with a crackdown on party hosts, "I think there's also been an awareness that's been increased through the Parents Who Host Lose the Most statewide campaign that's been going on for a number of years, trying to encourage parents not to serve as social hosts for underage drinking."
Some Wisconsin communities have enacted various levels of fines for adults who allow teens to consume alcohol on their property.