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Minimum Legal Drinking Age The Minimum Legal Drinking Age MLDA has been a controversial issue ever since the 1850s The reason I chose to research this topic was to discover the pros and cons of lowering the legal drinking age to 18 Many people I know are very interested in such a change but what the facts stated in my research may change their opinions slightly In this report I will discuss the facts and fiction of this debate and both sides of the argument to lower or even raise the MLDA Following the end of Prohibition each State developed its own set of policies to regulate the distribution sale and consumption of alcohol In addition to the MLDA examples of other alcohol control policies include excise taxes restrictions on hours and days of sales and server training The laws goal of course was to make young people happier healthier and safer Smith 1999 Many of these other alcohol policies have only recently been evaluated Of all the alcohol control policies MLDA policy has been the most studied Since the 1970s at least 70 studies have explicitly examined the effects of either increases or decreases in the MLDA The MLDA policies may have been evaluated sooner and more often for a variety of reasons including growing concern about youth drinking and driving availability of traffic crash history the fact that many States first lowered then raised their MLDAs and the effect of the change with the different MLDAs After all the study over the MLDA no changes have been made at the present time It is still in constant debate whether the age should be raised or even possibly lowered Beer is the alcoholic beverage of choice for most youth As a result reduced rates of alcohol among youth after the MLDA was increased were primarily evident in decreased rates of beer consumption Rates of wine and distilled alcohol use among youth did not
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