Wellness/Prevention: Drinking Age of 21 Saves Lives

A recent review of data reveals that since the drinking age was set at 21 years across the United States (US) in the 1980s, American youths are less likely to be involved in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. Each year, approximately 5,000 youths under the age of 21 in the US die from alcohol-related issues such as unintentional injuries, homicides, and suicides. The review suggests that these numbers would be higher if not for the current drinking age. Investigators found that binge drinking among high school seniors decreased from 35% in 1988 to 22% in 2011. Author Dr. William DeJong adds, “Some people assume that students are so hell-bent on drinking, nothing can stop them. But it really is the case that enforcement works.”
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, February 2014