Debate on Changing the Drinking Age to 18

Some college presidents want to open up for debate the lowering of the drinking age to 18.

""College presidents from about 100 of the nation’s best-known universities, including Duke, Dartmouth and Ohio State, are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus.

The movement called the Amethyst Initiative began quietly recruiting presidents more than a year ago to provoke national debate about the drinking age."

A list of the signatories is here:

Do you think the laws should be changed? Why or why not?

Lowering the drinking age will not work in the USA… Our children have ***not ***be brought up to drink an alcoholic beverage as a beverage, as in most European countries. Our children treat alcoholic beverages as a drug, something to get high on or get drunk with…

I spent 3 years in Germany (US Army 65-68) where the drinking age is or was non-existent. Kids would drink wine and beer with the family at meals and drinking was “No Big Deal”

A few years ago my daughter went to Austria for a semester. She was the only sophomore over 25… Austria has no drinking age, or a very low age… The 19 and 20 years old kids, all from the USA, went out on the town night after night to drink and would return to the campus late and drunk…

So, unless we educate our children properly on responsible drinking, I say keep the age 21…

It would probably cause a bigger problem of high school age people drinking.

If we take a european view on drinking, I say go for it. However, if alcohol is treated the way it is currently, it might be dangerous to allow a lower drinking age.

I am all for the legal drinking age to be 18.

At 18 you are a legal adult. You can join binding contracts. If you commit illegal actions and are convicted you are convicted as an adult. You can join the armed services, pack up your rucksack and parachute into a hot LZ, shoot and kill the enemy, be shot and or killed yourself in service to your country. But you cannot have a Bud Lite - OK, yeah, that’s makes perfect sense.

If we don’t lower the drinking age to 18, logic dictates that we need to increase the age of adulthood to 21.

In the 1970s, much of the US had an 18 year old drinking age. Why did it change?

I’m not sure the problem we have is as simple as lowering the drinking age. Brits are even more drunk than we are. I think we need to teach our kids the way the French and Italians do by showing responsible drinking from an early age.

Where I live, the drinking age has always been 18, along with voting and military service. It is also expected that they would start to live away from home at that age, usually with a group of other kids the same age, either in a college dorm or a shared apartment or house.

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 (Title 23 U.S.C. §158) was passed on July 17, 1984 by the United States Congress as a mechanism whereby all states would become thereafter required to legislate and enforce the age of 21 years as a minimum age for purchasing and publicly possessing alcoholic beverages.

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p.s. *pst* it's a States Rights issue.  I'm also for (MUCH) Less Federal Gov't Control

Thats exactly the way I think of it too.

Your considered an adult yet cannot drink alcohol is to me plain silly.

Ok so I’m a brit and admittedly went and got drunk and had BBQ’s on the park with friends since I was 13/14. No parents knew obviously else we would be forever grounded, mainly due to breaking quite a few laws along the way. But by the time we were 15 we knew exactly how much we could drink before we were drunk and knew getting drunk wasn’t all that great. Ye it’s a laugh but the morning after’s were killers (especially at school). But at least then when you are in more adult environments e.g at a wedding and you can have a drink with your meal, you then don’t walk round the wedding taking all the free booze offered, if you’ve been there and done it you know how much you can have before you end up spending the wedding in the toilets.
(this stories not the most catholic I know, but if you think about how many teens go by how your meant to behave as a catholic, I don’t there’s very many tbh, most go away and come back later I reckon (like moi) but I’m English and we don’t seem as religious nation as US, non of my friends were brought up with religions at all)

Basically I think it’s silly being considered an adult, voting for who can run your country, take out a loan, buy a house and move half way around the world, yet you can’t drink alcohol. Or cook some food which contain booze :shrug:

Lower the drinking age (for beer) to 16 and raise the age to get a driver’s license to 18.

Back over 40 ys. ago, Illinois lowered the drinking age to 18. Within 2 years, they reversed their decision and raised it to 21 because there were so many deaths, not only from vehicle accidents but alcohol poisonings. How irresponsible are these college deans to think that is going to save lives? The experiment has already been done. Did they learn nothing from history?

As far as kids being exposed to alcohol at an earlier age, maybe they should poll families in alanon and alateen whose families have alcoholic parents…see how much of an influence their parents had on them…more reason to pray for wisdom for these misguided university profs and legislators who would even consider it. Maybe the alcohol and beer distiller industry have promised them big money for campus activities if they support this change. That’s what I think…Money talks!

If you’re a legal adult, you cannot be called a minor for anything. That includes drinking.

If 18 is too immature to drink responsibly, it’s too immature to be considered an adult. If you can’t handle that responsibility, should you be allowed to own a gun? You can be 18 and do that. How about drive a car? You’re typically younger than 18 when you start driving. Get married? Vote?

And I was brought up to drink responsibly. If I asked for a taste of wine, my parents had no problem giving it to me. It was heavily diluted, lol:) Even now, if I’m in their house, in their eyes, I can enlist in the military and vote, so I’m allowed a glass of wine should I ask for it (and it’s legal in my state, as long as my parents are present).

Why beer? Wine drinkers tend to be more responsible.

Maybe this is something we should send to the college brainiacs to consider.

Just think…for example

There will always be drink and drive

Now decreasing age limit to 18, will there be more drink and drive, more accidents, more deaths …or less ?

Being 18, how responsible a person is that compared to 21.

You can never get rid of ‘drink and drive’, but don’t compound the problem by decreasing the age gap

Is there any statistics to compare things in the UK to US like the drink driving with teen road accidents?

May give some answers to some statements!

I like this idea!

Not in my neck of the woods. Many “salt of the earth” types drink a beer or two each night, just like European wine drinkers. No need to be elitist.

The drinking age was state regulated until the feds decided to step in. My husband was legal at 18 for several weeks before Oklahoma changed it’s laws. He graduated in 1983.

I do agree that it is silly for someone to be considered an adult and be able to do everything an adult can do except drink alcohol. If the government does not consider them mature enough to be responsible with alcohol than how can they possible consider them mature enough to defend this nation? That is what it comes down to after all. Eighteen year olds are not considered to be mature enough and continue to be treated as minors for a little while longer when it comes to alcohol. But they are mature enough to be thrown into a full blown war? Either lower the drinking age to 18 or raise the age of adulthood to 21. Oh, I’m including all things here like cigarettes. You can legal smoke at 18 but can’t legally drink. :shrug:

Its the mystery that causes trouble.

If you live in a house where your parents refuse to allow you to drink anything with alcohol, you’re going to start wondering what it is like and when you are able to drink, you go crazy.

My dad foresaw this and occasionally lets me drink. Now there’s no mystery! All I know is that beer makes me sleepy…lol

BTW, in many state, it is legal for a minor to drink if he/she is on private property and is monitered by a parent or guardian. So I wasn’t breaking any laws.

Anyways, lowering the drinking age IS logical.

However, you must also understand that the problem would only start happening earlier. And instead of college students getting rowdy with the booze, it’ll be high school students…Not that they don’t do it already, but it’ll be more widespread.

So both sides have good points, its going to be a tough choice here.

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