New report sheds light on teenage drinking deaths

SEATTLE -- With prom and graduation season just around the corner, there's a renewed push to avoid teen alcohol deaths.

A new study highlights the true causes of underage drinking deaths, and the results are surprising to many parents.

Tragic tales of intoxicated teens crashing their cars are nothing new, but they only tell part of the story.

But new study shows drinking and driving causes just a fraction of the total number of alcohol-related deaths among people not even old enough to drink.

"I think it's just people not knowing their limits and trying to fit in with the crowd," said Aalyse Umbinetti with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, or MADD.

According to MADD, only 32 percent of underage drinking-related deaths are caused by car crashes. The rest have nothing to do with drinking and driving.

"There are homicides, there's suicides, there's alcohol-related deaths, those types of things," said Amy Ezzo of MADD.

That's why the organization is urging parents to talk to their kids about alcohol.

"Well, I think it's important to have that conversation. And kids are influenced by their actions, so it would kind of explain things," said Rolan Wong.

Sunday is Power Talk 21, which is the annual reminder that MADD gives all parents to get those dialogues going.