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How 1980s Policy Has Helped New York Traffic Fatality Statistics Today

The state of New York can boast a decrease in alcohol-related traffic fatalities over the last 30 years. To understand, we go back to the 1980s.

In the mid-1980s, coming off a powerful Democratic convention speech, New York Governor Mario Cuomo was a rising star in American politics.

In 1985, he signed legislation to raise New York's drinking age to 21. In those days, he said, "What you are saying to your young people is that it is not good for them to go out and drink until you are fully matured.''

The law took effect on December 1, 1985.

Today authorities in the state report that alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities in the state dropped from 750 in 1984 when Cuomo gave his famed convention speech to 292 when his son, Andrew, was Governor in New York State.

Experts also credit Governor Andrew Cuomo's work to strengthen the enforcement of liquor and traffic laws for the decrease in alcohol related traffic fatalities in the state.