A new survey from alcohol.org revealed 22% of parents in Michigan believe the legal drinking age should be lowered from 21.
The survey questioned 3,090 parents from around the country. It found that the average parent said they would allow their child to have their first alcoholic drink at the age of 19.
The highest level of support for lowering the drinking age comes from West Virginia at 43%, followed by Massachusetts at 40%. Indiana and Alaska occupy the low end of the spectrum, with only 8% and 11%, respectively.
Proponents of lowering the drinking age say the policy would allow adolescents to have their first experiences with alcohol in a safe environment under parental supervision. This, supporters argue, would decrease the number of alcohol-related accidents among underage drinkers, who sometimes will not seek medical attention due to fear of legal consequences.
Other parts of the world have lower drinking ages. In France, it is 18, and often children will drink with their parents at earlier ages, providing a moderate introduction to alcohol that can lower the likelihood of excessive drinking later in life, according to the study.
Those opposed to lowering the drinking age point to research that shows that human brain development continues until people are into their 20s. Alcohol can negatively impact this development.