Last updated on: 10/9/2018 | Author:

Footnotes & Sources


The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following footnotes (directly referenced) and sources (used for general research and not directly referenced):

  1. “Platform Plank: Dems Want to Lower Drinking Age to 18,”, July 27, 2008
  2. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), “Underage Drinking and the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) Law,” (accessed Oct. 20, 2010)
  3. American Medical Association (AMA), “Minimum Legal Drinking Age,” (accessed July 19, 2013)
  4. GPO Access, “Title 23–Highways: Chapter 1–Federal-Aid Highways,” (accessed June 1, 2009)
  5. Amethyst Initiative, “Statement,” (accessed Oct. 9, 2018)
  6. Annie Chiappetta, “Should Drinking Age Be 18?,”, Apr. 14, 2005
  7. Choose Responsibiltiy, “FAQs,” (accessed Mar. 28, 2012)
  8. Thomas S. Dee and William N. Evans, “Behavioral Policies and Teen Traffic Safety,” American Economic Review, May 2001
  9. Peter Asch and David T. Levy, “Young Driver Fatalities: The Roles of Drinking Age and Drinking Experience,” Southern Economic Journal, Oct. 1990
  10. “Alcohol Impaired Driving,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,, 2009
  11. Barry M. Sweedler, “The Worldwide Decline in Drinking and Driving: Has It Continued?,” Presentation for the 15th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety in Stockholm (Sweden),, May 2000
  12. Jeffrey A. Miron and Elina Tetelbaum, “The Dangers of the Drinking Age,” Forbes, Apr. 15, 2009
  13. “2009 Drunk Driving Statistics,”, 2011
  14. Charlie Covey, “Drinking Age Requires Necessary and Proper Action,”, Nov. 11, 2007
  15. Will Wilkinson, “Bottoms Up!,” Forbes, Sep. 29, 2008
  16. Joseph Califano Jr., “The Commercial Value of Underage and Pathological Drinking to the Alcohol Industry,” National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University website, May 2006
  17. Mark Kleiman, “Of Amethysts and Fake ID’s,”, Aug. 20, 2008
  18. M. Wolfson, A. Wagenaar, and G. Hornseth, “Law Officers’ Views on Enforcement of the Minimum Drinking Age: A Four-State Study,”, July 1995
  19. Alexander C. Wagenaar and Traci L. Toomey, “Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws: Review and Analyses of the Literature from 1960 to 2000,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 2002
  20. US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “Dangers of Teen Drinking,” (accessed Oct. 20, 2010)
  21. Birckmayer J and Hemenway D, “Minimum-age Drinking Laws and Youth Suicide, 1970 –1990,” American Journal of Public Health, 1999
  22. American Academy of Pediatrics, “Policy Statement–Alcohol Use by Youth and Adolescents: A Pediatric Concern,” Pediatrics, Apr. 12, 2010
  23. US Department of Human Health and Services (DHHS), “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking,”, 2007
  24. James C. Fell, “An Examination of the Criticisms of the Minimum Legal Drinking Age 21 Laws in the United States from a Traffic-safety Perspective,”, Oct. 2008
  25. Kathryn Stewart, “How Alcohol Outlets Affect Neighborhood Violence,” Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation website (accessed Mar. 28, 2012)
  26. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Traffic Safety Facts,”, 2008
  27. “Results of the 2007 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, July 2009
  28. Bettina Friese and Joel W. Grube, “Youth Drinking Rates and Problems: A Comparison of European Countries and the United States,” Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation website, 2010
  29. Honorable Ralph Guy Jr., “Ref. Civil No. 8-73015 and Civil No. 8-73159,” US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southem Division, Detroit, Michigan, Dec. 22, 1978
  30. Carl F. Pieper, et al., “Effect of Legal Drinking Age on Fatal Injuries of Adolescents and Young Adults,” American Journal of Public Health, 1992
  31. Alexander C. Wagenaar, et al., “Where and How Adolescents Obtain Alcoholic Beverages,” Public Health Reports, 1993
  32. Alexander C. Wagenaar, et al., “Public Opinion on Alcohol Policies in the United States: Results from a National Survey,” Journal of Public Health Policy, 2000
  33. Joseph Carroll, “Most Americans Oppose Lowering Legal Drinking Age to 18 Nationwide,”, July 27, 2007
  34. Rhonda Jones-Webb, “Why and in What Context Adolescents Obtain Alcohol from Adults: A Pilot Study,” Substance Use and Misuse, 1997
  35. “Youth Access to Alcohol,” Alcohol Epidemiology Program at the University of Minnesota (accessed Mar. 22, 2012)
  36. “Results from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings,” Department of Health and Human Services website, Sep. 2008
  37. James C. Fell, “Drinking Age 21: Facts, Myths and Fictions,” American Association for Automotive Medicine website, 1985
  38. Denise Kandel, et al., “Stages of Progression in Drug Involvement from Adolescence to Adulthood: Further Evidence for the Gateway Theory,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 1992
  39. Peter O’Malley and Alexander C. Wagenaar, “Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws on Alcohol Use, Related Behaviors, and Traffic Crash Involvement Among American Youth: 1976-1987,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 1991
  40. J.H. Hedlund, R.G. Ulmer, and D.F. Preusser, “Determine Why There Are Fewer Young Alcohol Impaired Drivers,”, Sep. 2001
  41. “Age of Majority,” (accessed Oct. 20, 2010)
  42. Patrick O’Malley and Alexander C. Wagenaar, “Minimum Drinking Age Laws: Effects on American Youth,” Institute for Social Research website,, 1990
  43. Alexander Wagenaar and Traci Toomey, “Illegal Alcohol Sales to Obviously Intoxicated Patrons at Licensed Establishments,” Alcohol Clinical Experimental Research, 2004
  44. David Eby, “The Convicted Drunk Driver in Michigan: A Profile of Offenders,” UMTRI Research Review, 1995
  45. Lise Anglin, et. al., “A Study of Impaired Drivers Stopped by Police in Sudbury, Ontario,” Toronto: Addiction Research Foundation website, 1997
  46. Mary A. O’Donnell, “Research on Drinking Locations of Alcohol-impaired Drivers: Implications for Prevention Policies,” Journal of Public Health Policy, 1985
  47. US Supreme Court, “Craig v. Boren,”, Dec. 20, 1976
  48. World Health Organization, “Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015,”, 2015
  49. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables,”, 2016
  50. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Drunk Driving,” (accessed May 11, 2018)
  51. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Fact Sheets – Age 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age,”, May 10, 2018
  52. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, “European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD): Alcohol,”, 2015
  53. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, “European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD): Patterns of Current Use,”, 2015
  54. Center for Alcohol Policy, “National Survey: Public’s Concern Over Alcohol Misuse Remains High,”, 2017
  55. World Health Organization, “Alcohol: Key Facts,”, Sep. 21, 2018



Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS), “Underage Possession of Alcohol,” “Underage Consumption of Alcohol,” and “Underage Purchase of Alcohol,” (accessed June 4, 2009)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Age 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age,” (accessed June 5, 2009)

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Alcohol Policies Project, “Fact Sheet: Lowering the Minimum Drinking Age Is a Bad Idea,”, Feb. 1998

David J. Hanson, “Drinking Alcohol in Moderation: Better Health and Longer Life,” (accessed Oct. 20, 2010)

David J. Hanson, “It’s Better to Teach Safe Use of Alcohol,” (accessed Oct. 20, 2010)

Digital History, “Prohibition,” (accessed June 9, 2009)

“Education,” (accessed Oct. 20, 2010)

J.H. Hedlund, R.G. Ulmer, and D.F. Preusser, “Determine Why There Are Fewer Young Alcohol Impaired Drivers,”, Sep. 2001

Justin Pope, “College Presidents Want Lower Drinking Age,” New York Sun, Aug. 19, 2008

National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), “Traffic Safety Facts 2002,”, 2002

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “Alcohol’s Damaging Effects on the Brain,” Alcohol Alert, Oct. 2004

National Youth Rights Association (NYRA), “Drinking Age,” (accessed June 3, 2009)

R.L. Douglass, L.D. Filkins, and F.A. Clark, “The Effect of Lower Legal Drinking Ages on Youth Crash Involvement,”, June 1974

Stephen Cucchiaro, Joseph Ferreira, Jr., and Alan Sicherman, “The Effect of the 18-Year Old Drinking Age on Auto Accidents,”, May 1974

“Why Do Teenagers Drink Alcohol?,”, Jan. 18, 2010