Would you vote for a measure to lower the drinking age to 18?

Most of the under 21 crowd that I knew throughout college had no sense of self control when it came to drinking. They were fresh out of their parents’ houses and wanted to do everything they weren’t allowed to do before. I’ve seen people puke all through the night. A major accomplishment was drinking to the point where you would black out. It was considered cool. I’ve seen them lose all sense of shame. At my old apartment complex we had to keep our windows shut on the weekends because the guys on the third floor would get so drunk they would piss over the side of the balcony and it would splash into our apartment. I’ve seen fights start simply because one guy said to the other “I bet I can kick your ass.”

Do I want these people able to drink in bars and clubs? Hell no! The bartenders and servers can’t or won’t pay attention to every one. With the age limit being 21 they have a few years of mellowing out before they can publicly drink. Maybe they might get a sense of limitation and self control. Until then they can do what most of the people around here do, try desperately to find some one of age to buy it for them which isn’t as easy to come by as you might think. Most of the 21&up that I know refuse to buy alcohol for anyone underage because of everything I’ve described in the first paragraph.


Doesn’t really help me or Zen, but interesting.

If you can vote, you should be allowed to drink. I think we should either lower the drinking age to 18 or raise the voting age to 21. I’m more in favor of raising the voting age to 21, though.

Nonsense. There are a plethora of jobs available to 16 year olds that don’t require operating a motor vehicle. And if they can’t get a ride there or back, they can take the damn bus.

If there’s no bus, they can starve.

For it, the higher drinking age makes drinking by many people illegal. Actually I would think it a good idea to allow drinking years before driving so some experence w/ alcohol can be learned. The way it is now we have people w/ a few years driving and now experimenting w/ drinking.

… said the man living in NYC. Not everyone lives within range of acceptable public transport.

Personally, I find the US’s drinking age to be vaguely ridiculous. For a country obsessed with individual liberties, it does seem strange – to an outsider, at least – to deny a certain class of adults the same freedoms allowed to other adults.

You (well, not you, since you’re female) are still required to register for a potential draft once you turn 18, however. And a person of either sex certainly can enter the armed forces at that age, so the “can die for this country” phrasing is perfectly valid for the USA. Count me among the members of the “18 as across-the-board age of majority” camp.

ShadiRoxan, i think that sort of behaviour is an effect of the restrictive laws. Among other things. Someone mentioned infantilization of college students, I’m not sure what else that covers. Anyway, you don’t see that so much elsewhere. I was amazed at the college culture in the US, compared to the one I’d just come from.

I’m not saying that there aren’t idiots in every country and at every age, but when you can just legally pop down the road for a beer at the pub, it doesn’t seem to provoke the same kind of idiocy. And the bartender and public setting enforces better behaviour than in the private setting.

My own & friends’ first illegal experiments with alcohol were a lot less dramatic than I saw in the US. When you’re still in high school and living at home, and no-one has a car, there is a lot more parental supervision. Maybe it’s changed, but I still don’t see that much idiocy in the 18-21 group. Schoolies at the Gold Coast, maybe. That’s the closest I’ve heard of to what I saw in the US, but it is hearsay for me.

Yes. I’d lay it out like this. Full voting rights at 13. Alcohol comsumption rights at 15 or 16. Both alcohol and cigarette purchase rights as well as draft duties at 18. I think the layout of rights and responsibilities should be given in that order. Voting > possession > purchase > military.

ok, what about marriage? I’m ready to marry my daughter off at 12, with those rules. any takers?

This is the reason that I am not for letting 18 year olds buy alcohol. Most turn 18 before they are out of high school and they definitely will buy beer for younger kids. It takes about a year of being out of high school before they lose the desire to be big shots to the high school set. Maybe lower it to 20, but not 18.

[ul]:stuck_out_tongue: [sup]Let the bastards eat cake.[/sup][/ul]

Try my friend at rkelly@jiverecords.com

So, when did you take over Japan? :smiley:

The thing is, it’s NOT true that 18-year-olds are mature enough to handle weapons and killing. Some of them are; some aren’t. Even the ones who are sufficiently mature require substantial traning and discipline beforehand.

There is no such screening process when it comes to drinking.

I disagree. That conclusion simply does not follow.

The consequences of a single poorly chosen vote are, by and large, less severe than those of a single reckless decision to drink. This alone suggests that the right to vote should not automatically confer the right to drink.


You do expect them to not break other laws, right? Or is it just open season because they’re teenagers?

If you set low standards, then you can be sure that teens will aim even lower.

Besides, my brother and I are living proof that you CAN teach teenagers not to drink. Granted, not everyone will follow this standard; however, it is hardly “ridiculous.” Difficult, yes, but not ridiculous.

Drinking in and of itself is not harmful, except to yourself. Now if you’re driving that’s a whole different story, but I truely believe if parents are able to teach their children to drink at a younger age, they would be able to handle it a lot better than suddently being introduced to it at 21.

There’s a real disconnect here between the culture associated with drinking and the laws governing drinking. American teenagers behave badly regarding alcohol. This would be true whether what they were doing was legal or not. You can’t legislate cultural/social changes like that. Granted, you might make it harder for them to drink, or bring greater public attention to the problem, but I think America has a youth culture that scorns moderation in any form.

When I turned 18 in the state of New Jersey, they had just changed the drinking age to 21.

Screwed right? Not so.

I lived three miles from the New York border where the drinking age was still 18 at the time.

So, I got to get in my car and drive the three miles to New York, load up, and then drive back. Makes sense to me. :smiley:
Then, entered the Military shortly after HS graduation and wasn’t able to walk into a bar in NJ in full uniform and have a beer for myself.

Nice. By the way, you’re welcome!