Should the legal age for buying alcohol be raised to 21 years?

Jason M Lindo and Peter Siminski
Med J Aust 2014; 201 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja14.00869
Published online: 17 November 2014

To the Editor: Toumbourou and colleagues argue that the Australian legal age for buying alcohol should be increased.1 However, they overstate their case by only citing research that supports their position, giving an impression of scientific consensus on several key issues when there is strong contrary evidence.

  • 1 Texas A&M University, College Station, Tex, USA.
  • 2 University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Toumbourou JW, Kypri K, Jones SC, Hickie IB. Should the legal age for buying alcohol be raised to 21 years? Med J Aust 2014; 200: 568-570. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Lindo JM, Siminski P, Yerokhin O. Breaking the link between legal access to alcohol and motor vehicle accidents: evidence from New South Wales. NBER Working Paper No. 19857. Cambridge, Mass: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014. (accessed Aug 2014).
  • 3. Kypri K, Voas RB, Langley JD, et al. Minimum purchasing age for alcohol and traffic crash injuries among 15- to 19-year-olds in New Zealand. Am J Public Health 2006; 96: 126-131.
  • 4. Boes S, Stillman S. Does changing the legal drinking age influence youth behaviour? IZA Discussion Paper No. 7522. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), 2013. (accessed Aug 2014).
  • 5. Deza M. The effects of alcohol on the consumption of hard drugs: regression discontinuity evidence from the National Longitudinal Study Of Youth, 1997. Health Econ 2014; Jan 24 [Epub ahead of print].
  • 6. Crost B, Guerrero S. The effect of alcohol availability on marijuana use: evidence from the minimum legal drinking age. J Health Econ 2012; 31: 112-121.


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