Study Challenges Initiative to Lower Drinking Age to
FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new study challenges the
theory that lowering the minimum legal drinking age from 21 to 18
would help curb binge drinking by college students.
Some college presidents and chancellors argue that if younger
students could legally drink in bars and restaurants, they might
learn more moderate drinking habits, which would lead to less binge
drinking at parties on college campuses. The idea is being promoted
through an effort called the Amethyst Initiative, which launched in
About 135 college presidents have signed the initiative's public
statement urging lawmakers to reconsider the minimum legal drinking
But lowering the drinking age without understanding the effects
would amount to a "radical experiment," warned Dr. Richard A.
Scribner, of the Louisiana State University School of Public
He and his colleagues used survey data from 32 U.S. colleges to
develop a mathematical model to estimate the effects that a lower
drinking age would have on binge drinking at colleges. They
concluded that such a move would be ineffective.
Earlier research has also found that, when alcohol is more
easily available to teens and young people, alcohol-related
problems, such as drunk driving, also increase.
The study is in the January issue of the
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has
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