Lower the drinking age?

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  • #14312
    paulwalker
    Participant

    Some are calling for lowering the drinking age to cut down on college students binge drinking. Some of us remember when the legal drinking age was 19 in Idaho and 21 in Oregon and Washington which created some border problems mainly between Pullman Washington and Moscow Idaho. Post Falls Idaho was another one not far from the Spokane area. I think this could create additional problems in some areas but could prevent students from loading up before they go out to events. Opinions?

    #14313
    edselehr
    Participant

    I think we should *raise* the drinking age to 25. Talk to any insurance actuary: poor driving and other irresponsible behavior in young adults decrease steadily until about 25, when it levels out. Our brains take a lot longer to fully mature than our bodies, and alcohol impairment is not good for a developing brain.

    I don’t think accommodating poor choices by legalizing them is a good idea.

    #14315
    Chris_Taylor
    Participant

    Many parts of Europe allow drinking around 16-17 years of age. However, the big difference is the social conscience in Europe that is different in the States.

    Since European kids grow up with drinking it’s not seen as something to abuse and binge, so they become responsible drinkers. Of course there are those who still abuse alcohol, but not like in the states. It’s a different mindset in Europe.

    When our daughter was in Trinidad, as a 20 year old, she had her first alcoholic drink and it was no big deal. It’s cultural and she blended in with the culture not abusing it.

    I’m not sure lowering the age in the US is a good or bad idea. I will say, we are far more hung up on it than those in Europe.

    #14316
    darth talon
    Participant

    If you have Military ID and you’re under the age of 21. You should be able to buy beer and alcohol on the base.

    That was one of the things that was a chip on my shoulder when I was in the Army. I was 18 year old. I was responsible for a M1A1 tank and it’s weapons. I was old enough to go off to fight (and I didn’t) and die in battle. But I wasn’t responsible enough to buy a beer.

    When I was stationed in Germany. I was 18. I was able to buy and drink beer, wine and alcohol. When I was 20 my tour ended and I was shipped stateside. I couldn’t buy beer because I wasn’t old enough to be responsible.

    #14325
    radiodork
    Spectator

    From what I understand the human brain continues to grow and mature until a person reaches 21 years of age which is why the drinking age is 21. Throwing down booze can’t be good for an under-developed organ like the brain.

    #14328
    Chris_Taylor
    Participant

    Radiodork –

    Some the most recent research I’ve read, especially for men in their 20s, their brains don’t fully mature until around 26-27 years of age.

    #14341
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    The drinking age should be 18. How in the world is a guy not able to enjoy a malted beverage, yet could be called to die for his country?

    #14342
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    My answer, though this is an issue that I do not feel strongly about, is don’t change anything.

    Europe has lower drinking ages, but the youth driving rates are lower, as well. In many European countries, the driving age is 18. (Click here to see a map and listing.) European cultures, particularly in areas with high population densities, tend to be much less focused around cars. Car ownership itself is much more difficult in Europe due to higher taxes and higher fuel prices. As an extra impediment, the use of manual transmissions is much more common in Europe, so young drivers there have to jump through the extra hurdle of learning to operate a clutch.

    As I have mentioned in other threads on this board, the importance of driving a car is rapidly fading in today’s youth culture. Today’s high school students do not see obtaining a driver’s license as a rite of passage or a “ticket to freedom” as was the case when the Baby Boomers or Generation X was their age. We are even starting to see the car-free lifestyle spread to young adults outside of New York City (note the increasing popularity of “microhomes” that cater specifically to people who do not own cars, by virtue of not offering any parking options but being located in areas where travel on foot or via public transit is feasible).

    #14344
    edselehr
    Participant

    “The concept that a person becomes a full adult at age 21 dates back centuries in English common law; 21 was the age at which a person could, among other things, vote and become a knight. Since a person was an official adult at age 21, it seemed to make sense that they could drink then, too.”

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/19437/why-drinking-age-21

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