Lowering The Drinking Age

jarrod

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No the age to own firearms is 21 not 18. Maybe to own a rifle but a pistol is 21. Lowering the drinking age to 18 is ridiculous. At 18 a person isn't mature enough to handle it. The only reason that most people here on this thread are saying to lower it is because they are not of legal drinking age. Look at the immature actions of frat guys and sorority girls when they have parties and get drunk. They fight, they drive, and they have sex (usually unprotected). Thats just what we need.

it was 18 at one point. i'm 31 so the drinking age doesn't affect me directly, but fair is fair.

btw, how are frat guys getting alcohol if they are under 21? isn't it illegal?

we have a tendancy to place a tremendous taboo on underage, then at 21 kids are supposed to magically have maturity & a responsible attitude towards drinking. of course they are going to overindulge.
 

Andrew Green

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btw, how are frat guys getting alcohol if they are under 21? isn't it illegal?

It's a bit of a pain I imagine, not too much though. But if they have any trouble they can always buy Marijuana or some other drug instead, easier for them to get a hold of them until they hit the right age ;)
 

kailat

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I personally believe the legal drinking age should be and always should of been 18yrs old. I don't think its logical to have it at 21yrs old. I think if your considered an adult at 18 then thats what you are. Why can you vote, join the military, live on your own, get married etc and yet you cannot drink? Here's one way you could think of it. Have a legal 18 drinking permit that one pays for! Kinda like a firearm conceal carry permit. If the 18 yr old obeys the drinking laws and does not get in any trouble they could keep that permit till they are legal at 21.

Ifthey get into trouble, caught drinkng and driving and or getting into trouble drinking they loose that licence (privledge) and has to wait till they turn 21 anyway...

Just something to consider..

OTHER WISE just lower the damn age to 18 and be done with it.. i think its stupid to wait till 21 anyway.


When I was 18 we used to go over to OHIO where it was legal to drink at 18 and in Indiana was 21. Do you think that being 18 stopped us from drinking under 21yrs old? If there was a will there was a way and we found it..
 

Kreth

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I personally believe the legal drinking age should be and always should of been 18yrs old. I don't think its logical to have it at 21yrs old. I think if your considered an adult at 18 then thats what you are. Why can you vote, join the military, live on your own, get married etc and yet you cannot drink?
I agree completely.
It's been a few days since I first read the original article, but I believe one of the main arguments for lowering the drinking age was to cut down on binge drinking. Having worked in bars in a college town (one school hear was listed as one of the top 10 party colleges several years in a row), I've seen firsthand the results of binge drinking. Students know they won't be able to drink in most bars (yes, there are known "underage friendly" bars here, unfortunately), so they go to a house party, and slam as many drinks as they can, as fast as they can; then head downtown to meet their older friends, catch a band, etc... There have been many cases of alcohol poisoning, and even a few deaths. Usually the bar staff is clueless as to how this kid is getting more and more intoxicated when they haven't served him/her a drop of alcohol. I've had a few bartender friends with close calls, because a kid will binge drink, go to a bar, then get injured/injure someone else/vandalize property/get popped for DWI, and the trail leads back to the bar. Several bars that I know of refuse to allow anyone under 21 in the door (many use stamps/wristbands to ID underage kids), just so they don't have to deal with the situation.
 

Bodhisattva

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Makalakumu

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So, over 100 college presidents sign a pledge to influence debate about the drinking age in America. There are people on both sides. Some say its too low, some say its too high. What do you think? Why?

Here is the Amethyst Initiative. Check it out and let us know what you think.
 

Big Don

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As a former soldier, I really understand and agree, to a point, with the "old enough to fight for the country, old enough to drink legally." argument. However, there are an awful lot of problems caused by people binge drinking. Car accidents, fatalities, fights, assorted idiocy... I don't know, I know I drank a hell of a lot more between 18 and 21 than I did between 21 and 30, and I worked in a bar for three years... I don't see how three years (especially at that age) makes much different. We trust 18 yr olds with the VOTE, why not with alcohol? Would a compromise work? Say, dropping the drinking age to 18 and a major crackdown on alcohol related crimes(across all age groups, a 40 yr old drunk driver is just as likely to kill you as an 18 yr old)?
 

Makalakumu

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As a former soldier, I really understand and agree, to a point, with the "old enough to fight for the country, old enough to drink legally." argument. However, there are an awful lot of problems caused by people binge drinking. Car accidents, fatalities, fights, assorted idiocy... I don't know, I know I drank a hell of a lot more between 18 and 21 than I did between 21 and 30, and I worked in a bar for three years... I don't see how three years (especially at that age) makes much different. We trust 18 yr olds with the VOTE, why not with alcohol? Would a compromise work? Say, dropping the drinking age to 18 and a major crackdown on alcohol related crimes(across all age groups, a 40 yr old drunk driver is just as likely to kill you as an 18 yr old)?

I totally see where you are coming from. Other countries have their drinking age as low as 16 and they have FAR less problems with booze then we do. A lot of European countries have lower drinking ages, but they crack down hard on booze related crimes. It seems to work for them...
 

Big Don

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I totally see where you are coming from. Other countries have their drinking age as low as 16 and they have FAR less problems with booze then we do. A lot of European countries have lower drinking ages, but they crack down hard on booze related crimes. It seems to work for them...
As much as I agree with your statement, I cringe when I hear people laud Europe. There is, in this country, a wide stripe of people who hear the word "European" and shut off their minds as anything European just must be superior.
Not at all to detract from or slander Europe, only to point out that to automatically assume something European is superior, sans any actual investigation, is about as dumb as it gets.
 

jks9199

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Alcohol use is socialized rather differently in Europe compared to the US. It's difficult to compare laws on an issue like this without taking that into account.

I believe we can take it as a given that a certain level of binge drinking among those who are under 21 has become a social expectation today, in part in response to the "forbidden fruit" effect. I suspect that if we were to lower the drinking age without a corresponding push to re-examine and modify those expectations, all we'd do is produce a dramatic rise in binge drinking, and related criminal offenses.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Alcohol use is socialized rather differently in Europe compared to the US. It's difficult to compare laws on an issue like this without taking that into account.

I believe we can take it as a given that a certain level of binge drinking among those who are under 21 has become a social expectation today, in part in response to the "forbidden fruit" effect. I suspect that if we were to lower the drinking age without a corresponding push to re-examine and modify those expectations, all we'd do is produce a dramatic rise in binge drinking, and related criminal offenses.

That is how I see it as well!
 

Ahriman

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I love this "European thus good" thing - some of them who say this BS fail to realize that Romania, Hungary, Ukraine etc are all parts of Europe but they are nothing like "good" and absolutely not comparable to the UK, France, etc. Totally different countries...
...
On topic - I started drinking when I was 12, my best female friend started at 8... we wanted to and could though not legally. If one is a responsible human being, one will behave "normally" regardless of age, but if one is an idiot or worse, one will just as much behave as an idiot regardless of age. Uh, I was threatened and attacked by 10-14 old drunk armed kids on numerous occasions on the street. Lucky for us they are absolutely not skilled especially when drunk.
Most of those I know started drinking under legal age and were never caught and never committed crimes or offences other than drinking.
With all this in mind, I would say that this legal age idea has little if any meaning and in some cases backfires due to the "forbidden fruit" effect. If these things aren't present in your country then all the better.
 

MBuzzy

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Europeans grow up with the concept of drinking at a younger as. As mentioned, it is viewed much differently, as more of a social thing than in the states. We don't have the culture surrounding drinking.

So while I agree with dropping the drinking age to 18, I belive that we would have a massive problem with alcohol related crimes for the first few years. Until that younger age becomes part of our culture and people are used to it, the kids who are close and just turning 18 would go crazy when they did. Just like most 21 year olds. I don't think that we will ever change the college culture surrounding drinking in the US.

And while I am also one of the people who drank more between 18 and 21 than I did between 21 and 30......recently, I've really started to notive a HUGE difference between 18 and 21 year olds. I think that people really do a lot of growing up in that time. Not everyone of course, but personally, I became an entirely different person (through maturity) during those 4 years.

Which often makes me question my position that the drinking age should be lower.
 

tahuti

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This table nicely ilustrates where USA is in relation to world
http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/LegalDrinkingAge.html

Check Wikipedia for more detailed info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_drinking_age

Even if it is listed as none for purchasing 18 for drinking that is not necessary true for all East Europe, some were influenced by Germany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_alcohol_laws
Germany has three drinking ages.

  • At 14 - Children are allowed to consume and possess undistilled (fermented) alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine, as long as they are in the company of their parents.
  • At 16 - Undistilled drinks are allowed without a parent.
  • At 18 - The child is now an adult and is allowed access to distilled liquor.
 

Makalakumu

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As much as I agree with your statement, I cringe when I hear people laud Europe. There is, in this country, a wide stripe of people who hear the word "European" and shut off their minds as anything European just must be superior.

Not at all to detract from or slander Europe, only to point out that to automatically assume something European is superior, sans any actual investigation, is about as dumb as it gets.

I totally agree and I think this comes from the pollyanna attitude many social liberals have toward Europe...seeing it as some kind of promised land. The reality is that every place has things they do well and others not so well.

With that said, I think that it is wise to look at examples of legislation that does work well. Take for instance the German legislation for drinking posted above.

This legislation allows parents to model proper drinking behavior for their children. It allows the teenagers a degree of freedom to practice the behavior they were taught. And then someone is conferred with the full rights of an adult. Thus, by the time you are 18, you have had four years of drinking experience, two years monitored, two years less monitored, before you are completely legal.

Europe or not, this makes sense to me. Sure, there are problems. I know for a fact, I had two foreign exchange students from Germany in my physics class last year they all knew people who were irresponsible. But, on the whole, it seemed to work.
 

Makalakumu

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I wonder how much attitudes developed during prohibition influence things like our drinking age and the drinking culture in the US. Underage drinking is secret and underground, but almost completely accepted. It sounds like drinking during prohibition.
 

MA-Caver

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I started drinking when I was about 14 and did my best to hide it from m'dad who was the law around the house then... what am I saying... still is.
I couldn't wait til I was 18 which was back in '79. When I entered college I majored in inebriation. If I was invited to a dorm party an extra case of beer was purchased (often times by me) to make sure there was enough to go around because I was guaranteed a case singlehandedly before the night was over.
I also remember my dad telling me (often) that I wouldn't be a "man" til I was 21. Now I'm 47 and I can now see that he was right. Actually I had seen the rightness of his ideal when I was in my mid-thirties.
Drinking is for mature adults. At 18, I don't care how grown up and how hard of a life you lead and how mature you may act... you're still not grown/mature enough to drink. If you were you wouldn't spend time getting totally drunk shitfaced and trying to drive or do some other things now would ya? You'd be mature enough to understand the consequences of such actions. You wanna have fun, sure ... before I got too heavily into my drinking I found that one or two beers or drinks to catch that "pleasant buzz" was adequate. I see responsible drinkers do the same... drink one or two and stop and enjoy the rest of the day/evening. Some are even responsible enough to hand over their car keys even if they just had ONE beer/drink.

I too seen assorted idiotcy and still do on the net via videos posted of the 18-20 sets drinking. Boys do all kinds of moronic stuff and girls just lose all respect for themselves flashing their breasts to cameras and getting so drunk to the point of passing out that boys actually completely take advantage of them sexually. Imagine how they feel waking up the next afternoon? Please don't insult the intelligence by saying "well it was probably a date-rape drug"... yes, they do occur but many times it's un-necessary because of the heavy volume of alcohol consumed.
I see photos (on the web) of people consuming so much alcohol at one sitting, that it's a miracle that they haven't died from alcohol poisoning... THAT almost happened to a close friend of mine if the cops that came over to bust the party up hadn't tried to wake him and found him semi-comatose.
You can see the lack of respect from photos of people totally passed out that they don't feel someone gleefully taking a black magic marker and painting half their faces black and writing degrading things on their bodies or piling up garbage on them and in some cases doing it in such a way that when they move it all comes crashing down on them... fine friends... fine mature responsible drinking aged friends.

The legal drinking age should be at 21, the legal voting age should be at 21 the legal OF AGE should be at 21.

Nuff said.
 

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Note:

Threads on lowering the drinking age merged.

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