An assessment of the impacts of Canadian minimum legal drinking age legislation on motor vehicle collisions, Emergency Department utilization, and crime

Renseignements sur le financement
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Type de subvention: Subvention de fonctionnement
  • Années: 2014/15 à 2015/16
  • Financement total: $208,962
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Sommaire du projet

Alcohol use is the largest contributor to the global burden of injury, disability and mortality among adolescents and young adults aged 10-24 years old. As a result, countries worldwide have implemented minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) legislation that seeks to reduce alcohol-related harm among youths by imposing age restrictions on the purchasing, possession, and consumption of alcohol. The MLDA is 18 years of age in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and 19 years of age in the rest of Canada. Recently, a renewed debate has occurred in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and United States about drinking-age laws. In the spring/summer of 2013 in Canada, national and provincial alcohol-policy coalitions have recommended raising the MLDA, while some provincial political parties have tabled proposals to lower the MLDA. At this time, Canada lacks comprehensive and up-to-date scientific evidence about the effectiveness of its MLDA legislation. The current study aims to investigate whether the MLDA has an influence on key health and social outcomes and, if so, to estimate the size of its effects. In particular, our study will assess the impacts, if any, of the MLDA on: (1) fatal/non-fatal motor vehicle collisions (MVCs); (2) Emergency Department (ED) admissions for alcohol-use disorders and injuries; and (3) criminal behaviour among youth. Study results might show that the MLDA does or does not have an effect on our chosen health and crime outcomes. Regardless of the direction of our findings, our study will provide important scientific data for informing the current MLDA debate in Canada.

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