Long-Term Effects of Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws on Adult Alcohol Use and Driving Fatalities
We examine whether adults’ alcohol consumption and traffic fatalities are associated with the legal drinking environment those adults experienced between the ages of 18 and 20. We find that the difference between an environment in which a person was never allowed to drink legally at those ages and one in which a person could always drink legally is associated with a 20–33 percent increase in alcohol consumption and a 10 percent increase in fatal accidents for adult males. There are no statistically significant or practically important associations between the youths’ legal drinking environment and adult females’ alcohol consumption and driving fatalities.
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