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Assessing the impacts of minimum legal drinking age laws on police-reported violent victimization in Canada from 2009 to 2013



Assessing the impacts of minimum legal drinking age laws on police-reported violent victimization in Canada from 2009 to 2013



Drug and Alcohol Dependence 197: 65-72



Given that alcohol-related victimization is highly prevalent among young adults, the current study aimed to assess the potential impacts of Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) laws on police-reported violent victimization events among young people. A regression-discontinuity (RD) approach was applied to victimization data from the Canadian Uniform Crime Reporting 2 (UCR2) Incident-based survey from 2009-2013. Participants/cases: All police-reported violent victimization events (females: n = 178,566; males: n = 156,803) among youth aged 14-22 years in Canada. Violent victimization events, primarily consisting of homicide, physical assault, sexual assault, and robbery. In comparison to youth slightly younger than the drinking age, both males and females slightly older than MLDA had significant and immediate increases in police-reported violent victimization events (females: 13.5%, 95% CI: 7.5%-19.5%, p < 0.001; males: 11.6%, 95% CI: 6.6%-16.7%, p < 0.001). Victimizations occurring in the evening rose sharply immediately after the MLDA by 22.8% (95% CI: 9.9%-35.7%, p =  0.001) for females and 19.3% (95% CI: 11.5%-27.2%, p < 0.001) for males. Increases in violent victimization immediately after MLDA were most prominent in bar/restaurant/open-air settings, with victimizations rising sharply by 44.9% (95% CI: 29.5%-60.2%, p < 0.001) among females and 18.3% (95% CI: 7.7%-29.0%, p =  0.001) among males. Young people gaining minimum legal drinking age incur immediate increases in police-reported violent victimizations, especially those occurring in the evening and at bar/restaurant/open-air settings. Evidence suggests that increasing the MLDA may attenuate patterns of violent victimization in newly restricted age groups.

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Accession: 066509555

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30780068

DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.12.025


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