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Raising Drinking Age Would Save Lives, Study Finds

4TH July 2008

Raising Drinking Age Would Save Lives, Study Finds

A comprehensive study shows lifting the drinking age to 21 would reduce fatal drink driving accidents by 11%.

The study led by James Fell, M.S. of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation [PIRE] found that laws making it illegal to possess or purchase alcohol by anyone under the age of 21 had led to an eleven percent drop in alcohol related traffic deaths among youth.

A Sensible Sentencing Trust Spokesman said the study confirms what most people already knew, that alcohol, cars and youth are a lethal combination.

Malcom Barnett’s stepdaughter was killed in a road accident by a 19 year old disqualified driver with a long history of alcohol and drug related offences.

Malcom and his wife Sharlene have joined the Sensible Sentencing Trust and are speaking to students and service clubs to raise the level of public awareness surrounding alcohol and drug related accidents.

“People say it is a tragedy when accidents like this happen but in our eyes when someone who is drunk or drugged drives a car and kills another person it is actually murder, the outcome is the same the only difference is their choice of weapon.”

“It is very encouraging to see firm evidence to show that if the drinking age was raised to 21 road deaths would be drastically reduced.”

Mr. Barnett said it was too late for his family but he wanted to prevent similar tragedies happening to other people. “We used to think this couldn’t happen to us, but now it has and we want to do all we can to reduce the level of alcohol and drug related road carnage.”

“We will be meeting with our local M P to request that he makes Parliament aware of the findings of this study.” Ends

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