By Chris Woodward
August 12, 2014
An advocate for alcohol awareness and education says setting the minimum drinking age is one of the smartest things we’ve ever done for public health.
According to a July 2014 Gallup poll published last week in USA Today’s snapshot section, Americans still oppose lowering the federal drinking age. In fact, the poll found that 74% of Americans are not in favor of lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18.
Mark Creech, president of the American Council on Alcohol Problems and executive director of the Christian Action League, says this data is consistent with previous findings by Gallup in 2001 and 2007.
“Despite a minority who oppose it, unlike many other public policies, this one has 30 years of scientific evidence proving its positive effects,” he tells OneNewsNow. “The current law reduces alcohol related traffic crashes. It reduces alcohol consumption among youth. It protects drinkers from the long-term negative outcomes they are susceptible to in adulthood, including alcohol and drug dependence.”
Creech says the list of benefits goes on, which is one reason he finds it surprising that the poll also indicates support for lowering the drinking age is higher among those with higher levels of education.
“Lowering the legal drinking age would lead to a substantial increase in injuries, deaths and other negative consequences,” he says. “So I’m certain that we can say on this question that the jury is back, the verdict is in, and the minimum legal drinking age is one of the smartest things we’ve ever done for the public’s health.”
Creech does address the arguments that some people, including self-identified Christians, make in favor of lowering the drinking age. Examples are ‘Europeans let their children drink at an early age,’ and ‘If you’re old enough to go to war, then you ought to be able to drink.’ Even so, Creech says results from a “mountain of social data” prove all of these assertions dead wrong.
“Actually, with our minimum drinking age laws set at 21, we have fewer alcohol related problems than most other countries that allow their children to begin drinking at an earlier age,” he adds. “No evidence exists to show that students will learn to drink more responsibly simply because they are able to drink earlier in life. In fact, what we see is that high-risk drinking consequences appear to be more severe for those who do.”
This article was posted with permission of OneNewsNow.com.
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