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Wisconsin

UW study: Lower drinking age would increase risky behaviors

WIZM staff

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Could be more than a few underage adults having some drinks this Oktoberfest weekend.

It wouldn’t necessarily be illegal under a recent proposal by Wisconsin lawmakers to lower the legal drinking age to 19, though it could cause all sorts of problems, according to a new study by a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

John Fletcher studied a lower legal drinking age and how that affects risky behavior.

In general, Fletcher found a lower legal age increases binge drinking.

The same study also found men face an increased risk of problems with friends and risky sexual behavior at younger ages.

There was not the same risk associated with a lower legal legal age for women.

The study did find no harm reduction associated with binge drinking for young adults living with their parents. In fact, risky drinking behavior tended to increase for those still living at home with their folks.

The proposal to lower the drinking age to 19 was done, in part, so teenagers could transition into drinking under their parents’ supervision.