Considerable progress has been made in recent years to reduce impaired driving crashes among young drivers. In the United States, much of this progress has been associated with reducing access to alcohol by young people. This paper will discuss some of the basic components that have contributed to this reduction in access: · Reduced alcohol availability to youth in the form of a uniform minimum purchase age of 21 and improvements in enforcement of minimum purchase age laws; · Changes in alcohol availability in general, in the form of price increases and controls on outlet location and conditions of sale; and · Expressions of norms against youthful drinking, including such things as controls on marketing and community sponsorship of alcohol-free events. These components will be described as they have been utilized in a national initiative to enforce underage drinking laws at the state and community level. Most other countries have lower legal drinking ages than the U.S. and many countries do not use these legal drinking ages as a major means of preventing alcohol-related problems, including impaired driving. The lessons learned in the U.S., however, can be applied in relevant forms in other countries
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