Strict regulations and the existence of laws have been successful in curbing the number of cases associated with underage drinking. This was revealed by a study on the effectiveness of laws concerning drinking age.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), looked into 20 expanded laws involving underage drinking implemented in some U.S. states. The research team sifted through the strong and weak points of each law, particularly in terms of enforcement, coverage, and sanctions for violators.
According to the study, only nine of the 20 expanded laws were effective in bringing down the number of fatalities caused by drinking below the minimum legal age. These nine laws have the ability to save more than 1,100 persons from death on a yearly basis. Sadly, not all U.S. states have all of these laws implemented or even approved. “We were surprised to find that half of the states have adopted 13 or fewer laws, that only five can be found in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and that just one state, Utah, has adopted all 20,” said study lead author James Fell in a news item.
Some of the nine identified laws were associated with significant decreases in underage drinking-related deaths:
- Presentation of fake ID to retailers: 11.9 percent decrease
- License revocation in DUI cases: 7.9 percent
- Alcohol possession: 7.7 percent decrease
- Purchase of alcohol: 4.2 percent
- Underage bartender: 4.1 percent
The study was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.