ERIC Number: ED254765
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Influence of Raising the Legal Minimum Drinking Age in Illinois.
Schroeder, Joyce K.; Meyer, E. Dewayne
The minimum legal drinking age in Illinois was returned to 21 effective January 1, 1980. To examine the effect of this change on accident involvement by young drivers, data from the last 3 years of the lowered drinking age (1977-1979) were compared to the first 3 years of the restored drinking age (1980-1982). Data were obtained from the Illinois Accident Record System and the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS). The analysis of involvement rates in fatal accidents showed a statisically significant reduction from the before period (1977-1979) to the after period (1980-1982) for drivers of age 20 and under (21.7 percent). At the same time the analysis showed that drivers aged 21 and older had a reduction of 13.9 percent in their involvement rates. Thus, while drivers of all ages showed reductions in the rates of fatal accident involvement, the drivers influenced by the changed law experienced 1.5 times the reduction of their elder counterparts. The reduction from the before period to the after period, using the three factor surrogate (3FS) fatal accident involvement for drivers 20 and younger, showed they experienced a 12.0 percent reduction, while drivers 21 and older showed a 2.0 percent reduction in 3FS involvement rates. Essentially the same differentials were observed for the two age groups in all remaining accidents other than fatal accidents. Thus, the principal conclusion is that raising the legal minimum drinking age positively affected the drinking and driving behavior of drivers age 20 and under. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Illinois State Dept. of Transportation, Springfield. Div. of Traffic Safety.
Identifiers: Drunk Driving; Illinois; Impact Studies; Legal Drinking Age; Legal Rights; Traffic Fatalities