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Changing the drinking age to 18? Good idea or not?

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Yesterday we went to a family gathering for Father's Day. Throughout the day beer and other alcoholic beverages were available as it ususally is with family gatherings.

My younger cousin (20) was there. Several family members offered him a drink, but he refused because he isnt 21. Now I know you are probably thinking that he just didn't want to drink around family, but that is not the case. He is in the military. His dream since he was a little boy was to be in the military. Anyway, he is a rule follower and would never knowingly or deliberately break a rule that could effect his military career.

I wondered about it all day though. Do you think the legal drinking age should be lowered in the United States? After all people can vote, enter into legal and binding contracts, buy tobacco products, permanently alter their bodies and serve their country at 18 years old, why not be able to legally drink as well? 


by on Jun. 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:23 AM
There are a lot of vehicle deaths from drunk teenagers here in the US too. My cousin and her best friend were both killed by a drunk 16 year old eleven years ago. They were 14. The other little girl and the parent driving the car were injured but survived. The boy driving the other car also survived and just got out of prison a few years ago.
Clearly a high drinking age is not stopping kids from drinking and driving.
Not only that, but we have plenty of teenage deaths from driving irresponsibly while sober in this country. Every year I was in high school some kid died on a crotch rocket their parents bought them, and several kids died in horrific accidents just driving too fast or distracted. Maybe what needs to be risen is the driving age, not the drinking age.
Furthermore, being older doesn't mean you're suddenly wise enough to drink responsibly. I have another cousin who, about six years ago, went out binge drinking with his brother in law for his 25th birthday. He drove them both home, wrapped his car around a stop light, and killed his sister's husband.
Having lost people to drinking and driving on both ends of the spectrum, I'm a little skeptical that a higher or lower drinking age does anything to curtail irresponsible drinking. Better to look at the reasons why people drink irresponsibly and address them. Those reasons, I suspect, are mostly cultural, and have more to do with class inequality, work loads, and moral values in a society than anything else.

Quoting xxMichellexx:I live in Australia, and our government is in the process of looking at raising the drinking age to 21.. There are so many road deaths here with 18-20 year  old drivers who get behind the wheel intoxicated..And the violence in the city because of alcohol has increased as well, it is concerning because recently there have been a few deaths related to being 'king hit from behind' by drunk 18-20 year olds... They are also looking at introducing an 'alcohol awareness' program into our secondary schools.. Australians who aren't under the age of 18 are hoping they pass the new law through..
by Michelle on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM

I bartended for years. I've seen the good bad, the bad, and the ugly. And the even uglier, shudder. The last thing I needed was even younger kids acting a fool. So I think 21 is just fine.

by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM

 No, I dont think drinking should be lowered I think the other things should be raised! Legal adult  at 21.

 and driving age to 18.

by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:26 AM
I think we should. The only difference would be that 18 year olds would be drinking legally instead of illegally. Plus, if they are old enough to make life and death calls in the military than they are old enough to drink.
by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:26 AM

ITA because our brains don't stop developing or maturing until sometime between 22-25

Quoting CrnchyMamaCraig:

Actually I think the legal "adult" age should be raised to 21 and all those other things should happen at 21.

by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM
2 moms liked this

As others have said, if you are old enough to handle the responsiblity killing (or dying) for your country (18), then that is surely old enough to handle the responsiblity of alcohol. I think it would be a good idea to make it well-known that the brain is still developing at that age and drinking alcohol could inhibit growth, -however-, I think that decision should be left solely to the ADULT in question. :)

by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM
1 mom liked this

The drinking age in most of Canada is 19, but 18 in Alberta. Personally I think 21 is a bit over-the-top. You can vote and drive a car, and be sent to war, but aren't considered old enough to drink? That's ridiculous.

by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:42 AM

I think it should be changed to 18. If an 18 year old is allowed to serve in the military, vote and smoke, then why can't he drink too? Also, almost everybody drinks well before 21 anyway. I was about 15 when I first got drunk. 

by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM
The though of 18 year olds in some of the bars is a scary thought. I see being 18 at home having a drink, but 18 in Vegas. I don't know about that. A lot of maturity comes in those few years.
by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Heck no.  It seems like most kids these days are more immature than ever.  Most don't seem able to leave home or support themselves before age 25 .

As for the military, those kids do have to grow up in a hurry thanks to the extensive training they are put through and they learn self control and discipline.  Maybe the solution is to give those who have completed military training a special exemption.

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