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Why is the drinking age 21 and not 18?

Drunk driving is a real problem that hurts and kills many people all over the United States each year. In Iowa alone, there were 83 deaths from drunk driving in 2011 and 92 in 2012. Twenty-five percent of all traffic deaths in Iowa in 2012 were caused by or involved alcohol and drunk driving.

As someone who is concerned about the health and safety of you and your family, it's important that you understand why the minimum drinking age has been established at the age of 21. This age limit is there to protect you and your loved ones from the dangers of teens who are too young to understand the implications of drinking and driving.

One of the ways Iowa, along with the rest of the United States, has helped reduce drunk-driving crashes is by raising the limit for the minimum drinking age. At 21, all people in the United States are legally able to drink, but this wasn't always the case. The minimum age used to be 18, but there is evidence to suggest why the age could even be raised higher.

In late 60s and early 70s, the minimum drinking age was lowered to 18 due to military enlistment and voting age minimums. Unfortunately, the result of this was an immediate increase in the number of crashes and fatalities related to drunk driving. By the early 1980s, over half the states had raised the minimum drinking age to 21 again, which proved to reduce accidents. It's claimed that around 900 people's lives are saved every year thanks to the drinking age being raised to 21 around the United States.

Those that are injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver should learn more about their legal options to seek compensation.

Source: MADD, "2012 Drunk Driving Fatalities by State," accessed July 15, 2015

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