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NEW JERSEY COALITION FOR "21"

Representatives:

New Jersey State Juvenile Aid Officers Association, Inc.

Captain Earle Wallo, (201) 377-2200
New Jersey Congress of Parents and Teachers

Phyllis Scheps, (201) 731-3304

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1. Colonel Clinton L. Pagano

Supt., New Jersey State Police 3. N. J. Police Traffic Officers Assoc. 5. N. J. Policemen's Benevolent Assoc. 7. N. J. Narcotic Officers Association 9. Matthew J. Derham, President

New Jersey Automobile Club (AAA) 11. N. J. State Athletic Directors Assoc. 13. N. J. League of Municipalities 15. N. J. Mayors Association 17. N. J. Liquor Stores Association 19. N. J. Health Officers Association 21. N. J. Council on Alcohol Problems

(26 Denominations) 23. N. J. Probation Officers Association 25. N. J. Grange (4-H Clubs, etc.) 27. N. J. Federation for Drug Free Com

munities 29. Auxiliary - N. J. Pharmaceutical Assoc.

Joan H. Wiskowski, Director

N. J. Division of Motor Vehicles
N. J. State Assoc. of Chiefs of Police
N. J. State Fraternal Order of Police
Tri-State Organized Crime Council
N. J. Education Association
N. J. School Boards Association
N. J. Conference of Mayors
N. J. School Principals & Supervisors

Association
Medical Society of New Jersey
Physicians for Automotive Safety
N. J. Christian Conference on Legis-

lation
N. .1. Coalition for Safe Communities
N. J. Lutheran Women
N. J. Dental Association
N. J. Safety Council

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Regional Organizations

1. Bergen County Medical Society
2. Bergen County Health Officers Association
3. Newark Parent Citizens Union for Public Schools
4. United Methodist Women of New Jersey
5. Trinity United Methodist Women
6. Ministerium of Salem County
7. Concerned Citizens Committee Pennsville, New Jersey
8. Essex County Dept. of Public Safety · Division of County Police
9. Livingstonites for Education about Drug Abuse
10. Madison Thursday Morning Club

Northern New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church
12. Municipal Investigators Association of Union County

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21-Year National Drinking-Age Law Backed By Large Majority Of Public

By George Gallup PRINCETON, N.J. - If the American people were voting today in a nationwide referendum on a law making 21 the national minimum drinking age, the large majority, including young people, would vote "yes."

Adults of all ages express support for a uniform national drinking age. Even 18., 19., and 20-year-olds vote for the proposed legislation, by a 3-to-2 ratio. These young men and women would not be able to legally buy or drink alcoholic beverages if such a law were enacted. At present, 34 states and the District of Columbia permit adults under 21 to drink all or some forms of alcoholic beverage.

Drunk driving reportedly causes 25,000 auto fatalities and costs the nation some $24 billion each year. Some states which have taken tough measures to deal with drunk driving, including raising their legal drinking age, report sharp reductions in alcohol-related accidents.

One of the principal arguments for raising the legal age is that it would help prevent high-school seniors, many of whom are now of legal age, from buying alcoholic beverages for their younger schoolmates.

Gallup surveys have shown strong public support for raising the minimum drinking age in states where it is legal to drink at ages 18 or 19. However, a 1981 Gallup Youth Survey of 13-10-18-year-olds found that far fewer teenagers living in states with lower drinking ages favored raising the legal age, while in states with higher limits, many more teen-agers expressed a preference for lowering the drinking age.

Following is the question asked of adults in the latest survey and the key findings:

Do you favor or oppose a national law that would raise the legal drinking age in all states to 21? National Drinking-Age Law

Favor Oppose No opinion % %

% NATIONAL

77 20 3 Men

74 23

3 Women

79 17

38 38 21-29 years

72 24 30-49 years

77 20

3 30 and over

83

3 College education

28

2 High school

80 17

3 Grade school

78 14

8 East

82 16 Midwest

78 18 South

4

18-20 years

70

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The strongest (6-10 1) backing for the proposal comes from persons 50 and older, with proportionately less support as age decreases. Thus, 83% of those 50 and older favor a national minimum-age law, compared to 77% of 30-10-49-year-olds, 72% of 21-10-29-year-olds, and 58% of 18-10-20-year-olds. Also, men and persons who attended college — population groups in which there is a high incidence of drinking - express somewhat greater opposition to the proposed law.

70 24 West

76 21

Accidents Decline When the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1971. gving 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds the right to vote in national elections, many states lowered their minimum legal drinking age. This reflected the belief that if young people were old enough to vote, marty, and serve in the armed forces, they were mature enough to drink responsibly. However, with teen-agers disproportionately involved in alcohol-related auto accidents, state legislators have been reassessing their drinking-age laws. As recently as 1979, 12 stales permitted 18-year-olds to drink; today only five do.

Spurred by parents of children killed in accidents involving drunk drivers, President Reagan last year named a 32-member commission to study the drunkdriving problem. One of the commission's key recommendations urged states to raise the legal age for buying or consuming alcoholic beverages to 21.

35-289

O-84-_-36

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28 c. Abolish the right of a person between the ages of 18 and 21 29 years to disaffirm and be relieved of contractual obligations by 30 reason of age. 1 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT The purpose of this bill is to raise the age at which a person can sell, buy or consume alcoholic beverages from 19 to 21.

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