Others around the country are coming to the same conclusion. In Montana, Mariah's Challenge asks people younger than 21 to promise publicly they won't drink or get in a car with someone who has.
The program was was founded by Jimm Kilmer, Chad Okrusch and Leo McCarthy, a 2012 Top 10 CNN Hero. McCarthy's 14-year-old daughter, Mariah, was killed in 2007 when an underage drunken driver ran into her as she walked along the sidewalk a block from her house. Kilmer's and Okrusch's daughters were injured, too.
"If you stick with me for four years," McCarthy told the crowd during Mariah's eulogy, "don't use alcohol, don't use illicit drugs but give back to your community, work with your parents and talk to your parents, I'll be there with a bunch of other people to give you money."
Since then, more than 140 high school graduates in different communities around the country have gotten $1,000 scholarships from the program.
At Melissa Stegner's high school in Virginia, she launched a chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions that now boasts about 30 members. She was also among the first to join MADD and State Farm's Power of You(th) National Teen Influencer Group this year.
The whole idea: No matter the stats, keep talking about drunken driving.
Later this month, during MADD's annual high school Red Ribbon Week, the group will distribute a new guide for teens, written with guidance from Stegner and other young people. It reminds students that the majority of teens don't drink, and even fewer binge drink; that teens react differently to alcohol than adults; that there could be major legal consequences to drinking. It offers ideas about talking to parents, and resources to call if a family member has a drinking problem.
"We're doing everything we can to empower youth to make sure they know they have influence over their own lives," Withers said. "We still want to be constantly talking about the issue."
Withers, after all, has her own story.
When her kids were growing up in Maryland, they were never allowed to drink at home or to join their friends for Ocean City getaways some saw as a rite of passage. They'd all signed contracts that said they wouldn't drink and drive and promised to call if they needed a ride.
One night in 1992, her 15-year-old daughter, Alisa, spent the night at a friend's house.
The girls went out with another group of friends. The driver had been drinking. Alisa was killed.
Looking back, Withers said, she thought she'd talked to her kids about drinking and driving. Now she knows it wasn't often enough.
"I had the attitude that 'They know how I feel about it,' " Withers said. "I believe she had some of the tools -- she certainly didn't drink that night.
"But still Alisa got in the car."