You can vote, buy cigerettes, become a legal adult, sign a bonding contract, and serve your country at the age of 18. You cannot legally consume or buy alcohol until the age of 21. Should the age limit be lowered for drinking or should we raise the age for all the other things that are allowed at 18?
this is probably one of the most retrograde and countereffective laws in this country , it makes as much sense as the prohibition did back in the 1930s, it's ok that minors under 18 can't buy alcohol,anything else is just downright stupid.
I don't think you can rent a hotel room (at most places) or a car at 18 either.
I wouldn't have a problem going to the European standard. Drink at 14/16, drive at 18. The taboo of alcohol has made it too enticing for the under-aged, so many kids go crazy when they finally hit 21 or acquire alcohol at an earlier age through some other means.
It is well understood that real and complete reasoning ability is not achieved until well past 20. So sure, giving alcohol to younger ages will help that problem for younger people.
Seriously though, why? At some point everyone must be considered adult whether they are or not. No one wants to be responsible for a 20 year old man or woman (note the designation) and that is a part of why 18 year olds are considered to be adult. But why in the world given them something they cannot handle - it's bad enough that sooo many older "adults" cannot handle it already.
I'm pretty sure you can't rent a car unless you're at least 21... and even then, you're still unlikely to get the rental unless you're 23+
Just felt like being a smart alec.
I am in favor of lowering the drinking age. If 18 is the age of legal consent, if you can send an 18 year old to fight in a war half way around the world, if at 18 you can be trusted to vote for the leader of our country, then surely an 18 year old should be able to drink. The truth is, 18 year olds do drink - it's just not legal for them to do so. Many 18 year olds are in college and on their own for the first time in their lives - is that when they should learn about how to drink? Wouldn't it be better to have them comfortable with alcohol before they head off to go to college, be on their own, and generally learn...everything?
Drinking has been proven to cause depression in some, if not most people, and a lot of teens have problems with depression the way it is, from being bullied to school work to parent problems, etc. They really don't need help from alchahol too. It's bad enough that some do get it now. I never drank before I was 21 and it didn't kill me. They are more likely to die FROM drinking before 21 than they are to die from NOT drinking before 21. My opinion, Greg
While alcohol is a depressant, if a kid's parents are paying even the smallest amount of attention, I don't think it would be an issue unless said kid is hell bent on self destruction, in which case they shouldn't be drinking at all and should probably see a therapist. I was pretty seriously clinically depressed throughout my teens and my dad's entire family is comprised of alcoholics; though I started drinking early I've never had any kind of problem with excess (a certain blurb about a once-in-a-lifetime trip in my bio notwithstanding) and didn't/don't drink nearly as much as my peers, who apparently had/have nothing better to do all weekend. Not drinking any alcohol before 21 is definitely very unusual. It's better to normalise it early on so kids don't view it as a wild and crazy illegal fun time thing the first time they go to a house party.
The thing is that culturally alcohol is a matter of course in many countries. You have a glass of wine with dinner, practically any dinner and at practically any age. Hell, in places like Italy wine is cheaper than soft drinks. There's no mystery to it. There's little incentive to go out on a weekend and binge on something that you already have on a daily basis.
I see the 21-year restriction as a holdover from prohibition and Puritan strictness. Excessive restrictiveness and excessive lenience tend to have similar effects as far as behavior goes.
I was slightly wrong about the "European standard." There's a lot of 18 and a few it's 16, but in almost all cases that's merely a purchasing age and there's little or no restriction on consumption age. But 21 is pretty much the highest you can get and very few countries other than the U.S. have that high of a drinking age.
You can blame the Puritanical ideas upon which America was founded for this. Thinking kids can't "handle" things and sheltering them from the world just makes them rebel twice as hard. I was allowed to dye my hair black when I was 12; I was over dying it at all by the time I was 14. Same idea.
That's great that you did not suffer (or even risk) serious injury, death or addiction from dying your hair. Of course, alcohol is a little different in that respect...
Haha, I'm not trying to devalue the original argument with my example, but it's true that people who view consuming small to moderate amounts of alcohol as normal and healthy from a young age are less likely to abuse it later.
Preventing kids from doing harmless things is the easiest way to ensure that they'll go off the deep end and act like total morons when mommy and daddy send them off to live in a college dorm and experience individuality and freedom for the first time ever, for example.
I tend to think that you're entirely correct in that learning to drink small amounts of alcohol as a matter of course would be the best method of teaching young people to drink responsibly. Such things as a small glass of wine at dinner.
Unfortunately, most drinking in the US is done to get at least somewhat drunk. Parties, cookouts, social gatherings of all kinds. That puts alcohol into a different category (one the kids need to learn to handle) but so many adults can't handle it themselves that they can't possibly teach it.
another retarded measure is the fact that places where beer and wine are served have to look like dark caverns where something obscure and perverted is going on.
Well here in the UK the legal age is 18, (last time I looked we were in Europe), but I would say honestly that at 18 few kids can handle booze with any remote degree of responsibility, (in fact back in 1988 aged 18 I couldn't either). Really don't know the right answer, but after the night out I just had tonight, I am inclined to think kids should not be allowed to drink until they are 25+. A hopeless situation of them humiliating themselves and causing problems that effect all those around them because they become gibbering idiots after a few beers!!
I don't think lowering the drinking age would do very much good. At least not in the Detroit high school I graduated from. I look back with mingled disgust at all the idiots I knew getting drunk late at night. What's worse is all the kids I knew who died from drinking related accidents. It's tragic, and their parents were letting them drink wherever and whenever. They didn't care-- they weren't doing it because it was some forbidden fruit-- they were doing it because they were bored and dumb. Lowering the drinking age isn't going to magically make reckless teens more responsible.
The French like to introduce their children to alcohol early, in the family environment. This means a glass of watered down wine for 12 and 13 year olds.
Its not a bad way to learn to drink. Better than a park bench, anyway.
They are getting it at 18 anyway, so they binge drink because they need to hide.
In Canada, depending on the province, you can drink at 18 or 19. Drunk driving and other accidents due to drinking among teens are no higher here than in places where the age is 21 as far as I know.
Driving Heavy Goods Vehicles and Passenger Service Vehicles cannot be done at 18 in the UK.
The 18-year-old (Shanna11) got it right. Read what she said.
Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1985, encouraging all states with under 21 laws to move it up, or lose federal highway funds. So the states did.
Congress does do a few things right. Really.
I remember what I did when I was 18 and the drinking age was 21 in PA. Drive 25 miles to NY where the drinking age was 18, and there was a bar that catered to that specific clientele.
Man, we all had a great time. Well, except for the kids who got killed and injured driving home.
I have an 18-year-old daughter and I don't think she would drink and then drive. But if they changed the drinking age to 18, I would have to buy six-packs for all her girlfriends for the shopping excursion to the mall. Me being the good dad and all. Now I make cookies for her girlfriends.
The drinking laws never stopped kids under 18 from drinking.
All laws should be uniform and as many have stated,if you ask an 18 year old to fight and kill,then they should be able to drink and other things.
That means they should be allowed to drink and kill then, is that right?
From my personal experience, the ones who join up often do it to kill and are usually drinking more than anyone else anyway.
Well, other people. I even talked to a guy who hit a camel with a Hummer. A lot of people join up because they can't get into college any other way, but all of the guys I went to high school with who did seemed to think it was like playing the best XBox game ever, in real life.
Peelander, You seem to have gotten off track. The point is that it is being said that if our boys are old enough at 18 to be in the military and kill or be killed kids should be aloud to drink at 18. My point was that, just because they are alloud to go over there at 18 and kill, should we also have to allow them to drink at 18 here and kill too. Greg
I don't think I've gotten too far off track.. Lots of kids here already drink at 16, 17 or 18 and kill people when they try to drive, resolve an argument with a gun, etc., so making it legal probably wouldn't make a difference in terms of violence. They'd be charged and prosecuted as adults for anything illegal they did while intoxicated either way. Teaching kids not to abuse substances is the important point, regardless of different age limits.
Well, if we're going to lower the drinking age to 18, then let's raise the driving age from 16 to 18.
Now that my daughter just turned 18, it don't matter much to me. But I feel sorry for all of you who have to chauffeur your 16 and 17-year-olds to sports, tanning, Zumba, etc., etc., not to mention back and forth to school. I mean, what kid that age wants to ride a big yellow bus.
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