Drinking and Traffic Deaths
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tough minimum drinking age laws can curb drunk-driving deaths, according to a new study. Dr. Ed Hill tells us more about the research in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Researchers found that laws making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess or purchase alcohol have led to an 11 percent drop in alcohol-related fatal car crashes.

In addition, the study shows states with strong laws against the use of fake IDs report seven percent fewer drunk-driving deaths among drivers under the age of 21.

In the study, published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, researchers examined the impact of two types of laws designed to control the sale, possession and consumption of alcohol by those under 21 years of age from 1998 to 2005.

They looked at the impact of minimum drinking age laws on alcohol-related fatal car crashes. Second, they looked at the effect of tougher sanctions against the use of fake IDs designed to circumvent the minimum drinking age laws. Researchers said the results show these sanctions may represent the second-best legislative tool, after the minimum drinking age laws, that states have to combat drunk-driving deaths.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Ed Hill.