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May 28, 2003

Approaches to Reducing Consumption of Alcohol by Youth—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(20):2645. doi:10.1001/jama.289.20.2645-a

To the Editor: In their article about alcohol consumption and expenditures for underage drinking, Ms Foster and colleagues1 recommended more campaigns against underage drinking, tougher penalties for violating the drinking age, and the like. Many such interventions have already been tried, including billions of dollars spent in the war on "underage drinking" and the enactment of many statutes. The drinking age in the United States is the highest in the world. We have put holograms on driver's lincenses, required registration of beer kegs, and even paid police officers to work undercover as convenience-store clerks. Nothing has worked. It is about time to recognize that punitive alcohol policies are a costly failure.