Letter to the editor: Drinking causes more than fun

John Porter

Dear Edtior,

I write in regard to Andrew FuscoÕs letter, ÒLetÕs Stop Hiding in Basements,Ó in which he argues for lowering the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA).

There is an extensive body of evidence that, compared with an MLDA of 18, an MLDA of 21 is a good public health policy; noteworthy findings include a 13% reduction in traffic fatalities involving 18 to 20 year-old drivers and lower rates of suicide and homicide among adolescents.

In our medical and counseling areas at the University, we see the consequences of alcohol use in UVM students on a daily basis.

These range from unintended sexual activity to personal injury and interpersonal violence, including sexual assault. Beyond this, we know that the use of alcohol use in high risk fashion blunts academic success and reduces the quality of life for those who choose not to use alcohol in this way.

Our campus will benefit greatly from some reflection about the ways in which high risk alcohol use reduces our quality of life as well as a conversation about how we might work together to mitigate its adverse impacts.



Jon Porter, MD

Director Ð Center for

Health and Wellbeing