Stricter Drinking Laws Lead to Fewer Alcohol-Related Car Deaths Among Young People

States with stricter laws designed to discourage drinking have fewer motor vehicle deaths among children and teens, according to a new study.

States with the toughest drinking policies had a 9 percent decrease in child and teen crash deaths, HealthDay reports. Of the almost 85,000 children and teens killed in car crashes in the United States between 2000 and 2013, 28 percent involved drivers who were legally drunk, researchers report in Pediatrics.

“Most policies we included in our study were designed to reduce drinking, as opposed to reduce driving among those who were already impaired,” said study lead author Dr. Tim Naimi of Boston University’s School of Medicine. “And most of the policies were geared towards the general population, as opposed to being geared specifically towards youth.” He said laws that increase the price of alcohol and limit sales are an important way to keep people from drinking too much.

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