The 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age Law Turns 30


On July 17, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age law.

Today, on its 30th anniversary, we celebrate this law, which has saved more than 25,000 lives and continues to prevent senseless tragedies.

Click here to read the history of the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age law.

The Minimum Legal Drinking Age was set at 21 based on decades of research proving that young people react differently to alcohol. Teens get drunk twice as fast as adults, but have more trouble knowing when to stop. Teens naturally overdo it and binge more often than adults. Enforcing the legal drinking age of 21 reduces traffic crashes, protects young people’s maturing brains, and keeps young people safer overall.

Click here to find out more reasons to support 21.

MADD knows that informed, caring parents can make a difference, and we’re here to help. In fact, data from a national MADD/Nationwide Insurance® survey of high school students shows that teens who receive a message from their parents that underage drinking is completely unacceptable are more than 80 percent less likely to drink than teens who receive any other message. Click here to see the interactive infographic.

So today, in honor of the anniversary of the 21 drinking legal drinking age, we encourage all parents and caregivers to talk with your teens about the dangers of underage drinking. Start by visiting the Power of Parents® page on our website to download the free parent handbook and get other tips and expert resources for talking with your kids about alcohol.

MADD has always, and will continue to support the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age because it saves lives and prevents injuries.


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