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But Americans are not aware or convinced of such arguments, as public support for a minimum drinking age of 21 seems pretty strong and consistent over the past three decades. Critics of drinking age often argue that it forces teens to drink in secret, which can lead to excessive alcohol consumption, as people store alcohol to consume everything secretly at once. But the 2014 review of research found no evidence of this, instead concluding that the national alcohol law reduced access to alcohol and consumption. PRINCETON, NJ – Thirty years after federal legislation established 21 as the uniform drinking age in all states, Americans are largely opposed to lowering the legal drinking age to 18. Seventy-four percent say they would oppose such legislation, while 25 percent would support it. The extent of the opposition is similar to what Gallup has measured in the past. If the perception of risk is increased, the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption may decrease. For example, my colleagues and I have found that, compared to Caucasians, African Americans tend to report late introduction to alcohol, reduce drinking rates, drink less, and show slower increases in rates of alcohol use in adolescence and early adulthood. These racial differences may be due, in part, to the fact that African-American parents and peers have a stronger perception of risk and consider alcohol to be more harmful than their white counterparts. Get our most relevant information on the opinions of the 7+ billion people in the world. 100 of 102 analyses (98%) of a meta-study on the legal drinking age and traffic accidents found a higher legal drinking age, which is associated with lower rates of road accidents. [19] In the 30 years since the introduction of MLDA 21, drunk driving deaths have decreased by one-third.

[50] The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that MLDA 21 saved 31,417 lives between 1975 and 2016. [50] In a 2002 meta-study on legal drinking age and health and social problems, 72% of studies found no statistically significant association, although it was claimed that lowering the MLDA to age 18 would increase suicide and criminal activity among adolescents. [19] After prohibition ended, each state developed its own policies to regulate the distribution, sale, and consumption of alcohol. In addition to the MLDA, examples of other alcohol control policies include excise taxes, restrictions on hours and days of sale, and server training. Many of these other alcohol policies have only recently been evaluated (see Toomey et al., 1994, for a review of the research literature). Of all the alcohol control policies, the MLDA policy has been the most studied. Since the 1970s, at least 70 studies have explicitly examined the effects of increases or decreases in ALRM, with some studies using more robust research designs than others. SHS policies may have been evaluated earlier and more frequently for a variety of reasons, including: (1) a growing concern about drinking and driving among adolescents; (2) the availability of archived time series data on road accidents; (3) the fact that many states first lowered and then increased their MLDAs; and (4) preliminary research showing the significant effects of changes in MLDAs. Extensive literature reviews by Wagenaar (1983, 1993), the United States General Accounting Office (1987) and Moskowitz (1989) provide detailed summaries of many of these studies.

MLDA laws were evaluated primarily based on how the MLDA amendment affects teen drinking rates and motor vehicle crashes. The “Other” category received a large number of responses. A handful of people said they wanted the age to be set at 23, another group is in favor of 25. Others justified an earlier minimum drinking age of 18 – some respondents voted to lower the age because of this, while others said it was lowering it to 18 only for those serving. It`s high time U.S. lawmakers recognized that a legal drinking age of 21 makes no sense. It`s time to join the rest of the modern world`s agenda by setting the legal drinking age at 18. and now it is illegal to smoke in Virginia unless 21 studies have shown that African Americans are less likely to foster permissive attitudes toward alcohol consumption than their white peers. African-American students report lower alcohol consumption because they expect more criticism for their excessive drinking from their non-white peers.

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