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Should drinking age be lowered to 18

Should drinking age be lowered to 18   27 members have voted

  1. 1. Should drinking age be lowered to 18

    • No
      5
    • Yes
      22

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26 posts in this topic

It sounds as if there is an effort afoot to lower the drinking age for alcoholic drinks in the United States back to 18. There are many that argue that if person can go into the military and kill people in our wars then they are mature enough to be able to knock back a beer or two.

On the other had MAD (mothers against drunk driving) are against this move saying that it will cause more problems on the road.

It should be noted that from the 1930 after the repeal of prohibition until 1988, the drinking age in the USA was 18 in most states.

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Until a few years ago the legal age to purchase alcohol in Louisiana was 18, but the drinking age was 21. Rather than lower the drinking age the state decided to go about closing the loophole the other way... by upping the legal purchasing age to 21 as well.

I was reading about a 20-year-old guy who was beat into a coma in a downtown nightclub over the weekend. Technically he wasn't even supposed to be inside the nightclub since the legal age here is 21. The article, however, also stated that the legal age to enter a bar in the state of Louisiana is 18. Locally it's 21, though, and I do believe that most cities in the state have adopted 21 as the legal age to enter even though state law says 18 is old enough. It doesn't make sense to me that the age to enter a bar would be 18 if you must be 21 to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages, just as it didn't make sense that until a few years ago you could purchase alcohol at 18 but not consume alcohol until 21.

So the argument is that if 18 is "mature" enough (with strong emphasis on the word mature in this situation) to vote, fight in wars, consent to sex, etc then the legal drinking age should be 18 as well.

I must say it's a damn good question, and it's a topic that I personally am undecided on. One part of me agrees with the points I made in the paragraph above, but on the other hand the word maturity comes back into play and I'm against it from that standpoint. But then again there's also the fact that many adults aren't even mature enough to handle alcohol.

MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, has a good point, as it's clear that many 18-year-olds are dangerous behind the wheel sober, let alone intoxicated. On the other hand I think the best way to prove, or disprove, their argument would be to show some statistics. Just because the legal drinking age is 21 doesn't mean people under 21 aren't drinking. Those under the age of 21 who wish to drink are going to drink, because it's simply too easy for them to gain access to alcohol.

Using this same logic, it would seem that the statistics would be pretty accurate. If every kid who wishes to drink is drinking, then the statistics would give a good breakdown of what age ranges are more susceptible to being in alcohol-related accidents. If the largest age group of people at fault in alcohol-related accidents is under 21, then I'd say the numbers speak clearly and the legal drinking age shouldn't be lowered. But if some age group OVER 21 winds up being the culprit in most cases, then age isn't the problem at all.

Perhaps there are flaws in my logic, and if so I hope someone will point them out. This is just what came to my mind immediately upon reading this. It's truly a subject that I'm unsure about.

**Edited some of the above for clarification purposes. Sorry!

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I'm torn on this as well. I don't think that most 18 year olds are mature enough to handle the risks and responsibilites associated with drinking. Yet, at the same time, I defer to the saying that lowered the voting age. If you're old enough to die for your country, you're old enough to vote.

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Yeah, this one is really, really tricky. On one hand, you have an 18 year old who his holding an M16 in foreign land and of voting age, yet not legally able to drink. who is to say he/she is not mature enough the chug a few Buds? The other hand, not so mature 18 year olds. I know when I was in the military, we were technically not suppose to be drinking until 21, however it was a generally accepted that we were able to chug a couple of cold ones at 18. Gotta love the military.

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Most 18 year olds in this country probably aren't mature enough to drink, but any that want to are doing it anyway so not sure I see the point of having statutes to restrict an activity we all know is happening anyway. For that matter, most 21 year olds aren't mature enough either. As usual, our problems are mostly cultural/societal yet we don't get that, and try to pass mostly useless laws to deceive ourselves that something is being done. I seriously doubt lowering the age is going to lead to an increase in drunken driving or accidents, on the other hand, increasing the driving age might do it (that's assuming people fear the consequences of driving without a license more so than an underage drinking offense).

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How much more mature is a 21 year old than an 18-year old? I say lower the age to 19, that way almost nobody still in high school will be able to buy legally and pass it on to other high schoolers.

Kids will drink underage no matter what the legal age is, and those that do it irresponsibly will continue to ruin it for those who don't. I've been drinking since I was 14 and have never driven drunk.

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As far as maturity, I don't think most folks really start acting anything like responsible adults until 24 at the earliest IMO. I think if your old enough to fight for our country and vote you should be able to purchase and consume alcohol. At least when it's legal we stand a better chance of regulating it, now 18-20 year olds are limited to binge drinking at uncontrolled parties for the most part which contributes to alcohol poisoning and DUI deaths.

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I'm voting no on maturity alone. I do think most drink at 18 anyway and many before that, but if it were legal one has to assume that it gives a free ticket for immature and wrongful acts to happen. At 18 kids barely have their full driver's license and giving them the option of drinking legally is a bad concoction IMO.

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I think it should be lowered back to 18. At eighteen, you are leagally an adult; it seems to me to be a bit of discrimination towards an age group. Couple that with the fact that most states raised the drinking age for the purpose of not losing federal highway funding, not to lower DUI deaths.

As an aside, because of the way SC raised the drinking age, I was legal for two days when I was eighteen, the whole summer when I was 19 or 20 (can't remember, it was a long time ago), and finally for good at 21.

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As an aside, because of the way SC raised the drinking age, I was legal for two days when I was eighteen, the whole summer when I was 19 or 20 (can't remember, it was a long time ago), and finally for good at 21.

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How much more mature is a 21 year old than an 18-year old? I say lower the age to 19, that way almost nobody still in high school will be able to buy legally and pass it on to other high schoolers.

Kids will drink underage no matter what the legal age is, and those that do it irresponsibly will continue to ruin it for those who don't. I've been drinking since I was 14 and have never driven drunk.

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......

.... In Europe, there is no mystery to drinking. No taboos. Young people don't have beer bashes in secret because there's no shock value in doing so, no rebellion needed, no reason to hide. Go to the pub and have a beer with mom and dad, take the train or bus home.

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When I was under 21 we drove around in our cars and drank since we couldn't get into bars or we'd party at someones house. Not proud of it, but it is what EVERYONE I knew did. The argument that MADD makes loses site of this. I personally believe giving 18 year olds the option of drinking in more controlled environments is better than forcing them to drink wherever or however they can. It is foolish to think that the current drinking age of 21 stops 18 year olds from driving drunk.

1) we all know underage people can get alcohol, easily

2) 18 year olds have the rights and privileges and responsibilities everyone has noted above

3) in countries with lower drinking ages there aren't huge problems associated with those ages that we don't have as well with higher drinking ages.

This is a law that doesn't work and criminalizes people that are otherwise law abiding. Change the drinking age.

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In Europe, laws place the emphasis on driving, not drinking. You can drink at 16 in most countries, but can't get a license untill you're 18. Add expensive gas, the high cost of insurance, and the exhorbitant price of cars, their taxes and fees, and Junior doesn't have a wheel to get behind, anyway. Compliating our issue is that as a nation of puritanical hypocrites, we demonize alcohol, yet revel in it. We make it hot and sexy while the rest of the Western world simply views it as part of culture. In Europe, there is no mystery to drinking. No taboos. Young people don't have beer bashes in secret because there's no shock value in doing so, no rebellion needed, no reason to hide. Go to the pub and have a beer with mom and dad, take the train or bus home.

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Most 18 year olds in this country probably aren't mature enough to drink, but any that want to are doing it anyway so not sure I see the point of having statutes to restrict an activity we all know is happening anyway. For that matter, most 21 year olds aren't mature enough either. As usual, our problems are mostly cultural/societal yet we don't get that, and try to pass mostly useless laws to deceive ourselves that something is being done. I seriously doubt lowering the age is going to lead to an increase in drunken driving or accidents, on the other hand, increasing the driving age might do it (that's assuming people fear the consequences of driving without a license more so than an underage drinking offense).

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I _really_ wish I could find the article now (I can't remember if it was a local paper or one from the WSJ, but it was recent), but it had a few statistics on the drinking age being raised from 18 to 21. I recall one specific finding that the number of 18-21 crashes in Tennessee decreased dramatically when the drinking age was raised.

I'll see if I can dig up the article. It had some really great insights into the debate.

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It is utterly foolish to assume that 18 year olds aren't going to drink. They are going to do so whether or not there is a law against it. Raise the driving age and treble the penalties for drunk driving, but I can't see how setting the legal age for drinking at 21 has ever been realistic. If anything, it makes drinking all the more desirable for those who are denied it in any form. The saddest part of all of this is that children ought to be taught how to drink responsibly by their families and their peers. The sense of community in a pub or gasthaus encourages this. Frat parties don't, of course, and the idea that forbidden fruit is all the sweeter invites overindulgence. It is simply outside of reality to think that college students aren't going to drink.

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I'm torn on this as well. I don't think that most 18 year olds are mature enough to handle the risks and responsibilites associated with drinking. Yet, at the same time, I defer to the saying that lowered the voting age. If you're old enough to die for your country, you're old enough to vote.

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^ Nice, now we need to contrast this with an overlay showing things like alcohol related deaths (not just vehicular) and crimes. Culture would of course be a factor in some areas, reporting accuracy in others, though 1st world country stats should be sufficient for discussion around the U.S. and it's woes.

Edit -- Mississippi has a lower drinking age??? Or a higher age of adulthood? Did not know it was any different.

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I'd say 19, so you try to keep alcohol out of the high school aged young adults. That may be a little naive, but it's worth a try.

18 if you're in the military.

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I'd say 19, so you try to keep alcohol out of the high school aged young adults. That may be a little naive, but it's worth a try.

18 if you're in the military.

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I think that maturity has nothing to do with age. I've met some youngsters that were quite mature for their age and I've also met quite a few older than myself who were quite immature. 18 year olds might be more dangerous behind the wheel, but linking that to drinking IMO has a flaw, as EVERYONE is more dangerous driving while intoxicated, which is why that is banned to start with. Also, you have to think of things though the mind of an 18-20 year old. This age group likes to do things that prohibited out of rebellion and being daring because its considered "cool." You make it legal and it negates that because it is no longer a forbidden item. It takes the mystism away from it.

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^I agree. In fact, I say do away with the drinking age altogether, at least in private, adult-supervised settings. Let young children get used to having a little of "what the grown-ups are drinking" and alcohol abuse won't have the same "forbidden fruit" appeal when they're older.

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