It's impossible to look at accident and other negative societal statistics and accurately make a correlation to the most benefitial drinking age limit.
1. It ignores the allure of underage drinking for the pure fact that it is taboo (method of rebellion).
2. It ignores the fact that when an underage drinker consumes too much, they are less likely to admit that fact to their parents. I know from experience that I was more likely to drive home drunk instead of calling and saying "I'll be home 3 hours late because I am too intoxicated to drive". Which of those options would a parent rather deal with?
I'd love to see the statistics on:
1. How many people drink alcohol responsibly before/after hitting the legal age?
2. How many people drink irresponsibly before/after the legal age?
3. How many people change their drinking behavior/consumption level suddenly when they hit the age? I think this is the big one.
I believe I was personally (as well as observing my friends) more likely to act stupid and drink more heavily before I hit 21 than after and it was directly related to the fact that I was restricted from an occassional drink and had to sneak around. The anticipation built up to a potential binge drinking situation almost every time.
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