It seems ridiculous to me that after being on this planet for over two decades I still can't drink..

Eh, this just reinforces my distaste with the drinking age in the US. I mean, my dislike of it doesn’t even take into account all of the other things that fly in the face of the logic behind the law here; seriously, I can go off and fight and die in the military, I can get married and live on my own, I can play the lottery, I can smoke, I can be imprisoned as an adult…but I can’t gamble or drink?

I turn 21 in a few months, so in due time this’ll become a non-issue, but it’s still an incredibly ridiculous precedent that I have to abide by here. I imagine that other folks around my age feel similarly.

I’ve been on this planet for over two decades yet I STILL can’t fucking drink alcohol. :smack:

Sure you can, just not legally. I probably drank more the two years prior to turning 21 than the two years after.

Oh, get over it. Alcohol is nothing special.

The legal drinking age was 18 when I turned 18. By the time I was 20.5 they raised it to 21… so there I sat at a bar, beer in hand, legally drinking at 11:59pm, a minute later I was breaking the law. That was 30+ years ago, and for all the reasons to OP stated, I agree, it’s a stupid arbitrary law.

Sure, many did, especially in the Viet Nam days. The age fell to 18 in many states. It went back up right around when I became that age.

I was not legal in NY. Then I was legal. Then not legal in MA. Then legal. Then not legal. Then legal.

I hope they don’t raise the age to 51.

Yep, stupid arbitrary law. I’m of the belief that you’re either an adult or you’re not an adult. I believe that it is offensive to deny rights and privileges to legal adults in this land of the free, home of the brave. I suppose we could raise the age of majority to 21 for everything, but then you’d need parental permission to join the armed forces and the credit card companies couldn’t get their hooks in you as early.

Heh. I walked into a bar at 11:59pm on the day before I turned 20.

Says the dude named after vodka…

The drinking age used to be 18 in many states for beer and/or wine, and it was 18
for all alcoholic beverages in New York and maybe 1-2 other states.

The reason it was raised everywhere was the abysmal driving habits of the 18-19-20
demographic, especially the males. They were killing themselves and others at a rate
sufficiently alarming to lead to a national movement, with the Federal government
eventually taking the lead to coerce all states (through highway funding leverage) to
raise the drinking age.

Highway death reduction is actually a significant success story, with a decline from ~20
per 100,000 people to ~15 per 100,000 since 1981. The rate per mile driven may be
even better. I have no idea, however, if the increased drinking age had anything to
do with it.

I would think seatbelt laws had more to do with the reduction. The kids that are going to drive drunk and kill themselves or others are going to drink whether they’re of legal age or not.

Actually, depending on your state, you can drink legally at 18 in some circumstances. Google drinking laws. It’s not as black and white as most people think. For example, in a few states you can drink at 18 with a parent in a bar or restaurant.

Sure it’s arbitrary, but any law that has to apply equally to a couple hundred million people has to be somewhat arbitrary. The alternative is to establish a minimum legal drinking age based on the ability, judgment, tolerance and responsibililty of each person individually, which would be impossible. If it was lowered to 18 it would still be arbitrary, just consistent with the minimum age for other things.

I just turned 50 a few days ago. Ah, to be only 20 years old again, and have the joys of youth. . .

To the OP: You’ll have many, many, MANY years to drink as much as you like.

Not just the “minimum age for other things,” but the age at which you are considered to be a free citizen. Except in this one area. Then, not so free.

Bwuh? No grandfathering?

The OP has a good point that is related to the larger question of, just when does a person reach adulthood? There really should be only one answer that applies in all situations.

A juvenile who commits a serious crime might be tried in court as an adult at 14 or 15 years old. Sometimes even younger. Why are you an adult in this case but in no others?

A parent may have to pay court ordered ‘child support’ until the child reaches the age of 18 yrs. Except if the child is going on to college, then they are still a child and you keep paying until 25 or 26. Unless they happen to drop out or quit college, then they are suddenly an adult again.

The new health care law includes an already active section where a parent’s health insurance must provide coverage for the ‘child’ until the age of 26. Which is a great deal for young people just starting out who can’t afford insurance, but when are they really adults and responsible for their own self, 18 or 26?

Even though there is not currently a draft for the armed forces in the US, males are still expected/required to register for selective service at the age of 18.

There are many more points of reaching adulthood that are all over the place. Age of consent to marry or even have sex legally, when to own property, etc.

The move to make adulthood 18 with regard to drinking, drafting, etc. was a brief period of sane equality that didn’t last. The trend for the future is to prolong the transition into adulthood.

In the U.K. where the legal drinking age is 18, though many much younger still manage to drink regulary, there is a hell of a lot of serious motiveless crime caused by people under twenty one as a direct result of drinking alcohol.

That said, in recent years U.K. "young people " (hate that term ) have shown all of the appearences of maturing later and later in age then previous generations, though physically due to having a better diet, they physically mature much younger then previous generations did.

I couldn’t say if this is a situation specific to the U.K. or if its wider spread.

Eh, some do, some don’t. I’m 26 and drink often enough (never to the point of getting drunk, just a beer or glass of wine with dinner on occasion or a couple rounds of drinks with some friends). I never tried alcohol before my 21st birthday and never really cared to. It just wasn’t that big a deal for me and still isn’t. I’ve had several friends who agreed with me and several who think more like you, so it’s not nearly a one-sides issue.

If they want to claim 18 year olds are too immature to drink, then why do we put a gun in their hands and send them to war?

It’s a pretty silly law that grown ass men in uniform can’t even have a beer.

I am not! “Absolut” has no E.