Don’t look for the return of Prohibition any time soon. While a sizable number of Americans say they don’t drink, very few think alcohol should be outlawed despite a new study that says it is more dangerous to society than heroin and cocaine.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 36% of Adults say they drink alcohol at least once a week, with seven percent (7%) who have a drink every day or nearly every day. Only 29% say they never drink alcohol. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
But just six percent (6%) of all Americans say alcohol should be outlawed completely. Among those who never drink, however, support for prohibition rises to 16%.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Adults are comfortable with the current legal drinking age of 21 as it is in most states, slightly higher than the finding in August 2008. Twenty-five percent (25%) think legal drinking at 18 is okay. Four percent (4%) say 16-year-olds should be able to drink, while eight percent (8%) favor pushing the legal age up to 25.
Americans have mixed feelings about the health risks related to drinking alcohol. Forty-nine percent (49%) are at least somewhat concerned about those risks, including 21% who are Very Concerned. Forty-seven percent (47%), on the other hand, don’t share that concern, with 14% who are Not At All Concerned.
Perhaps not surprisingly, non-drinkers are more concerned about the potential health risks of alcohol than are those who drink regularly.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on November 2-3, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.