21 Minimum Drinking Age Saves Lives

New research on the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA), published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, confirms that the current law saves lives. 

The Boston University review, which focuses on research published since 2006, “has reinforced the position that the current law has served the nation well by reducing alcohol-related traffic crashes and alcohol consumption among youth, while also protecting drinkers from long-term negative outcomes they might experience in adulthood, including alcohol and other drug dependence, adverse birth outcomes and suicide and homicide.”

"The evidence is clear that there would be consequences if we lowered the legal drinking age," said lead researcher William DeJong, Ph.D., of Boston University School of Public Health.

DeJong also says that education can help discourage underage drinking. Often, youth buy into the myth, for instance, that all college students engage in heavy drinking episodes. So giving them a more realistic picture of the true "drinking norms" can be effective.

MADD has always, and continues to support the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age.  We know that our hopes for a safer future are riding on today’s youth. By getting them off to a good start, we are taking a giant step toward fulfilling our vision of a nation without drunk driving. That’s why we’re focused on tackling underage drinking, a problem that threatens the safety of our kids and endangers entire communities, now and down the road.

Learn more about MADD’s Underage Drinking initiatives, including more information about the benefits and myths of the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age, as well as programs to help educate youth about the dangers of underage drinking.

President Reagan signing into law the Uniform Drinking Age Act
mandating all states to adopt 21 as the legal drinking age.