New York Marks 30th Anniversary of Higher Drinking Age


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is marking the 30th anniversary of a measure signed into law by his father that raised the drinking age to 21.

The Democrat said Tuesday that the 1985 law was “a victory for common sense” that has saved “countless lives.” New York’s Legislature passed the law in response to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which reduced federal highway funding to any state without a minimum purchasing age of 21.

The state’s drinking age had been raised from 18 to 19 in 1982.

The governor’s office says alcohol-related traffic deaths have dropped by 60 percent since the drinking age was raised to 21 in 1985.

Experts say tougher drunken driving laws, public outreach and safer roads and vehicles have also helped lower alcohol-related traffic fatalities.