Last updated on: 6/4/2013 | Author:

Traci L. Toomey, PhD Biography

Professor of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota
Con to the question "Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?"

“Compared with a wide range of other programs and efforts to reduce drinking among teenagers, increasing the legal age for purchase and consumption of alcohol to 21 appears to have been the most successful effort to date. The magnitude of effects of the age-21 policy may appear small, particularly in studies using weak research designs and having low levels of statistical power. However, even modest effects applied to the entire population of youth result in very large societal benefits… [T]he large proportion of MLDA (minimum legal drinking age) studies that found a significant inverse relationship with various outcomes gives strong support for the effectiveness of the MLDA.”

Cowritten with Alexander C. Wagenaar, PhD, “Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws: Review and Analyses of the Literature from 1960 to 2000,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 2002

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Member, National Alcoholic Beverage Control Public Health Advisory Committee, 2008-present
  • Chair, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Underage Drinking Committee, 2007-present
  • Member, Coordination Team of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guide to Community Preventive Services Alcohol Initiative, 2005-Present
  • Member, MADD Board of Directors, 2004-present
  • Professor, Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1999-present
  • Chair, MADD Program Committee, 2005-2007
  • Member, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Evidence Based Workgroup, 2005-2006
  • Member, Governing Council, American Public Health Association, 1998, 2000-2001, 2004-2005
  • Member, Higher Center for Alcohol and Drug Prevention Advisory Board, 2002-2005
  • Member, Scientific and Policy Advisory Board, Prevention File: Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs, 2002-2004
  • Member, Section Council, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs, Amercian Public Health Association, 2000-2001
  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 1994
  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 1991
  • BA, Psychology and Physiology, University of Minnesota, 1989
  • Recipient of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs/American Public Health Association College-based Leadership Award, 2010
  • Recipient of the Minnesota MADD Choice Award, 2008
  • Recipient of the School of Public Health Faculty Community Service Award, 2002
  • Recipient of the John B. Hawley Award for Health Promotion Research, 1992-1993
  • Recipient of the Lester Breslow Award for Health Promotion, 1992
  • Member, Delta Omega Honor Society, 1992
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa, 1988
  • Member, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 1987
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?