The University of Georgia, while famous for its beer-fueled partying, may have just scotched any attempt in the Legislature to lower the drinking age from 21, with a study issued today linking young imbibers with an increase in unplanned pregnancies and problem births.
You already knew that, of course. You just couldn’t prove it.
The study was authored by Angela Fertig, assistant professor in the university’s College of Public Health. We’ve only seen the press release, but a summary says a drinking age of 18:
— Increases prenatal alcohol consumption among 18- to 20-year-old women by 21 percent;
— Increases the number of births to 18- to 20-year-olds by 4.6 percent in white women and 3.9 percent in 18- to 20-year-old African-American women;
— Increases the likelihood of women under age 21 having a low-birth weight baby by 6 percent (4 percent for white women and 8 percent for African-American women);
— And increases the likelihood of premature birth by 5 percent in white women under age 18 and by 7 percent in African-American women under age 18.
Last year, a group more than 100 college and university presidents and chancellors encouraged consideration of lowering the legal drinking age to 18, saying it could reduce binges among the under-aged.
UGA President Michael Adams was not among them.
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