College kids 3"The National Uniform Drinking Act Age 21 has been a balanced, effective, and popular tool in helping to combat the many problems associated with underage drinking—for students or nonstudents alike" is the conclusion of a Commentary in the July 2012 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The piece supports findings of a study by Fitzpatrick and colleagues reported in the same journal, examining whether lowering the current drinking age would be an effective means of reducing underage drinking problems, as claimed by the Amethyst Initiative, a collaboration of 135 college and university presidents who have challenged the current laws. "Research shows," the commentary stated, "when the drinking age is 21, those younger than 21 drink less and continue to drink less through their early 20s."

The authors also note substantial, well-documented declines in alcohol-involved youth highway fatalities, homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries associated with the age 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws, or MLDAs, as these state policies are also known.

The Commentary was penned by noted researchers Robert B. Voas, Ph.D., and James C. Fell. In their conclusions, Dr. Voas and Fell observe, "States are still free to set their drinking age lower than 21, if they are willing to accept the increase in youthful deaths and give up federal highway funds."

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