New York’s “21” DWI Law Continues To Save Lives

New York’s DWI Law setting the minimum drinking age to 21 in July of 1984, (as did many other states) according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA has saved an estimated 25,000 lives. According to Glynn Birch, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, (MADD) “The earlier a youth begins drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to become alcohol dependent, binge drink, and to drive drunk later in life.”

In September, 2007, MADD, The American Medical Association, (AMA), The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced the formation of Support 21, a coalition of health and safety groups in support of the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age Law.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed over 50 states and counties that changed their drinking ages to 21. These studies found that increasing the drinking age decreases DWI fatalities and DWI crashes by 16% and lowering drinking ages increases fatalities and crashes by 10%. These studies have also definitively determined that automobile accidents remain the leading cause of death and alcohol the most popular drug for teenagers. According to a July 2007 Gallup poll, more than 3 in 4 Americans (77%) would oppose a federal law which lowered the drinking age in all states to 18. 60% of Americans support stricter penalties for underage drinking.

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