Drunk driving is always dangerous and illegal. At any age. In any setting. No one should ever get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
That said, studies have shown that certain age groups face a greater amount of danger from drunk driving than others.
The study looked at the number of people involved in deadly accidents and their blood alcohol concentration (BAC), charting both with the BAC on the y-axis and the age on the x-axis. The chart clearly shows that the 16-26 age group was involved in more deadly accidents as their BAC climbed, compared to older drivers.
For instance, 21-year-old drivers were involved in 20 deadly crashes with a BAC of .16, which is twice the legal limit. Drivers who were 41 years old were only involved in two deadly accidents in the same study when they had a BAC of .16.
These statistics are telling, but they are not surprising. Young drivers tend to get in more deadly accidents -- especially teens -- whether they have been drinking or not. It fits that young, drunk drivers would have the highest level of risk.
It is also worth noting that drunk driving may simply be more common for young people, who tend to go to parties and bars more often than older people, who may be more likely to just drink at home.
Again, this is not to say that drunk driving is safe at any age. It's not. But the statistics do help paint a picture of the risk so that other drivers can understand the dangers on the road. Those who get involved in accidents need to know what legal rights they have.