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.
While we agree with their strategy of frequent and open conversations with your kids about alcohol (starting early), one thing they didn’t cover is stressing the importance of waiting until 21 to drink alcohol.
They talk about “minimizing the risks” associated with teens experimenting with alcohol, but we know that the longer your child waits to start drinking, the safer he or she will stay.
Of all the dangers your teen faces, underage drinking is among the worst. Whether teens are experimenting with beer, wine or other liquor, alcohol presents a serious—and potentially deadly—threat. Compared with non-drinking classmates, teens who drink are more likely to:
Die in a car crash
Be sexually assaulted
Become an alcoholic later in life
Take their own life through suicide
Get the tools needed to start this ongoing conversation, including a research-based parent handbook with proven strategies for talking with teens about alcohol, at www.madd.org/powerofparents. And thank you TODAY show for covering such an important topic!
Last week, we announced that MADD National President Jan Withers would be featured on an upcoming episode of Katie Couric’s talk show, Katie, to talk about underage drinking and the importance of the 21 minimum drinking age.
If you missed the episode, you can watch all three segments here:
Parents Whose Son Died After Drinking and Driving
Dr. Brian Hoeflinger and his wife, Cindy, share the story of their son, Brian, who was 18 when he died.
Discussion of the 21 Minimum Drinking Age
MADD National President Jan Withers and MADD National Board Member Monica Vandehei are featured as part of this discussion.
Talking with Kids About Drinking
Dr. Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital and a mother of five, shares her tips on how to talk with kids about alcohol.
MADD National President Jan Withers was recently invited to appear on Katie Couric’s talk show, Katie, to talk about underage drinking and the importance of the 21 minimum drinking age. College student and MADD National Board Member Monica Vandehei was also there, and spoke about the need for enforcement of the 21 drinking age law on college campuses.
The episode, called “Teens and Alcohol,” also features the bereaved parents of an 18-year-old boy who died in an underage drunk driving crash. It is scheduled to air on January 17, 2014 (check your local listing for time).
At MADD, we know that our hopes for a safer future are riding on tomorrow’s drivers. By getting today’s youth 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 health and safety of our kids and endangers entire communities, now and down the road.