Fact Sheet: Public Attitudes and Opinions on Youth Access to Alcohol
7,021 adults were surveyed between April and October of 1997. The survey, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and prepared by the University of Minnesota Alcohol Epidemiology Program, was designed to measure the public's attitudes and concerns regarding the issues and policies surrounding youth access to alcohol. Here are some of the findings:
- 96% of adults are concerned about the problem of teenage drinking.
- 92% of adults have heard something in the past year about traffic deaths involving young drivers.
- 80% of adults have heard something in the past year about how easy it is for teenagers to buy alcohol.
- 84% of adults oppose lowering the minimum drinking age from 21 to 19.
- 59% of adults favor a ban on home deliveries of alcohol.
- 82% of adults agree that stores and bars are not careful enough in preventing teenagers from buying alcohol.
Laws and Regulations
- 80% of adults favor a law that sets the minimum age to sell or serve alcoholic beverages at 21.
- 88% of adults favor a law that would require owners of bars and restaurants to attend a one day training course every year on how to deal with intoxicated patrons and underage drinkers.
- 89% of adults favor a law that would require employees who serve alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants to attend a one day training course every year on how to deal with intoxicated patrons and underage drinkers.
- 82% of adults favor an increase of five cents per drink in the tax on beer, wine, and liquor to pay for programs to prevent minors from drinking and expand alcohol treatment programs.
- Percent of adults in favor of alcohol restrictions in certain locations:
*Numbers may not add up due to rounding
||Public beaches & campgrounds
||Concerts & other cultural events
||Sports stadiums & arenas*
|Total favoring restrictions
- 66% of adults favor using compliance checks to monitor whether stores sell alcoholic beverages to underage persons.
- 83% of adults favor a law that provides penalties for older persons who illegally give alcohol to teenagers.
- 63% of adults favor a law that would ban all advertisements of alcoholic beverages on billboards in the community.
- 67% of adults favor a law that would ban the use of cartoons and youth-oriented music materials on alcoholic-beverage bottles, cans, and packages.
- 59% of adults favor a law that would ban the use of sports teams and athletes as symbols in advertising and promotions of alcoholic beverages.
- 67% of adults favor a law that would ban all advertisements of hard liquor on television.
- 61% of adults favor a law that would ban all advertisements of beer and wine on television.
- 79% of adults agree that advertisements for alcoholic beverages should be restricted to make drinking less appealing to kids.
- 58% of adults agree that advertisements for alcoholic beverages increase how much people drink.
Implications of the Survey
Findings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey suggest that the public is aware of underage drinking and concerned about its effect on society. The survey also shows that most adults support laws and regulations that would help curb youth access to alcohol.