Sunday, October 5, 2008

Andrea Wanat, Ex. Dir. of ECPASA supports 21

Andrea J. Wanat, the Executive Director of the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alchol and Substance Abuse had a great letter published in the 09/24/08 issue of the Buffalo News suporting keeping the drinking age at 21 and arguing against the drinking age reduction to 18. Here is part of what she writes in her letter:

In response to the article published in The Buffalo News on Sept. 17 about college officials’ opinions on lowering the drinking age, the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse firmly opposes efforts to reduce the minimum legal drinking age. An immense amount of research shows the positive effects that the current age of 21 has had on health and safety.

Many arguments are made to lower the drinking age. Some reason that since 18-year-olds can vote or go to war, why shouldn’t they be able to drink alcohol legally? The reason is clear: When the drinking age was lowered to 18 in the 1970s, significant increases in alcohol- related crashes involving youth ages 18 to 21 resulted.

Therefore, in 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the National Uniform Drinking Age 21 Act. The change helped to decrease fatal crashes by 59 percent between 1982 and 1998, saving thousands of lives in the process. In addition, a 1998 study showed 10 years after the age was raised to 21 in New York, 58 percent of people 18, 19 and 20 reported reduced drinking, while impaired driving rates decreased.

You can read the whole letter by clicking here.

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