Effects Of The Drinking Age On Other Problems

Four studies have appeared on the effects on problems other than car crashes of raising the legal age to 21 (Wagenaar, 1993). One study found that vandalism was down 16 percent in four states that raised the drinking age, and another found that significant reductions in suicides, pedestrian injuries, and other unintentional injuries were associated with higher legal drinking ages. A study of two Australian states that lowered the legal drinking age found 22 percent to 40 percent increases in trauma-hospital admissions for causes other than car crashes, although another study did not confirm these findings. A Massachusetts study found no reductions in nontraffic trauma, suicide, and homicide deaths after the drinking age had been raised, perhaps because many of Massachusetts' residents lived close to bordering states that had lower drinking ages at the time of the study.

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