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News coverage of violent crimes and fatal accidents linked to alcohol use may increase public support of stricter alcohol-control laws, HealthDay reports.

A new study surveyed 789 adults and found that they were more likely to support alcohol-control laws after exposure to stories in the media about violent crimes, car accidents and other types of accidents involving alcohol.

Research shows that drinking is involved in nearly one-third of deaths from accidents and violent crime. However many news reports of these incidents do not mention alcohol’s link to the cases, according to the authors of the study published in the March issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

“People have some awareness of the social cost that alcohol can have,” said study author Michael D. Slater, of Ohio State University. “But only a small fraction of news stories on violent crime and non-motor vehicle accidents acknowledge the contributing role of alcohol.”

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