Quantcast

Should the US drinking age be lowered?

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
yes, just about the time they're figuring out to drive responsibly, let's get 'em all likkerd up


full disclosure: i was grandfathered in when they raised it in VA. and b/c i turned 18 in high school (thank you 7th gradeX2), there were no less than 6 other "$tinkles" at school.

and yes, we drank heavily during the week.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
31,367
4,679
Portland, OR
yes, just about the time they're figuring out to drive responsibly, let's get 'em all likkerd up.
Don't blame the beer. DUI's are less of an issue just about anywhere but here because the rules are a joke in the US. Germany has almost no actual drinking age and the novelty of getting sh!tty when you reach some magic age is long lost there.

On that note, my wife was pissed yesterday when we test drove a Mercedes Benz C230 Komressor because it had no cup holders. I tried to explain the fact that on the Autobahn you don't do ANYTHING but drive. The last thing you want is some jackass trying to sip his latte while doing 160mph.
 

skinny mike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 24, 2005
6,416
0
they should lower it to 19, that way they can keep it out of high school. make it illegal for an 18 year old to purchase alcohol, but at least on college campuses make it not too big of a deal if they are caught drinking.

people will binge drink no matter what the drinking age is, but making it legal for younger college students to do so will make it safer since they won't be hiding from the people who can help them if something goes wrong.

when the drinking age was raised to 21, education about alcohol was nowhere near the level of what it is today. drinking and driving laws have changed and are being more strictly enforced than they used to be, my guess is that there will be a slight increase if the age is changed but then it will level out back to what it currently is.

the current drinking age does very little to actually prevent the people who want to drink from drinking.
 

MMike

A fowl peckerwood.
Sep 5, 2001
18,222
90
just sittin' here drinkin' scotch
Yup. You get college kids out on their own for the first time and drinking is a novelty....you end up with peopel drinking themselves to death.

Here with our system, high school proper stops at grade 11. Then two years of the equivlanet of community college, then 3-4 years of "real" university for a Bachelors

So most kids are 16 or 17 when graduating high school.

I don't have any stats, but I'd wager that far fewer kids (per capita) drink themselves to death here....
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
it just seems foolish to allow people to be under the influence of peer pressure & alcohol simultaneously. i believe there's less of a conflict at 21
 

ridiculous

Turbo Monkey
Jan 18, 2005
2,909
1
MD / NoVA
Yeah 19 sounds like a better age, as thats freshman year of college for most. Unfortunately that also means more freshman in bars though.

Come to think of it, if its going to be 19, it might as well be 18.
 
Last edited:

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
Please...I've pressured my fair share of people well over the age of 21 into binge drinking, going shot-for-shot, etc.

And I'm proud of it!!

HA!
"...less of a conflict at 21" means 21>18, not 21=magical-finish-line

surely we can agree that if age makes no difference, then the law is arbitrary, and therefore unconstitutional (but not necessarily for this reason alone)
 

Secret Squirrel

There is no Justice!
Dec 21, 2004
8,153
1
Up sh*t creek, without a paddle
"...less of a conflict at 21" means 21>18, not 21=magical-finish-line

surely we can agree that if age makes no difference, then the law is arbitrary, and therefore unconstitutional (but not necessarily for this reason alone)
I know. I was being droll.

The reason that states are opposed to this is because of a congressional mandate that reduces federal highway funding if the drinking age isn't 21.

Binge drinking...it's what you're supposed to do...

AA Fail...
Article said:
It's no secret that alcohol permeates college life. Will Porter, a 21-year-old economics major at U-Md., said that one of the favorite games in his fraternity is for 10 guys to pass around a handle of bourbon until it's gone. About a month ago, he said, he drank seven shots of whiskey and six glasses of Jack Daniels and Coca-Cola at a bar near campus. He doesn't remember much else.

Now, he said, he's going through court-ordered alcohol treatment. His second Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is Sunday.
 

ultraNoob

Yoshinoya Destroyer
Jan 20, 2007
4,515
1
Hills of Paradise
Since the age of consent is 3 years less than the legal age for drinking; if they lower the drinking age to 18, should they also lower the age of consent?
 

reflux

Turbo Monkey
Mar 18, 2002
4,622
2
G14 Classified
http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/08/21/drinking.age/index.html

It's 18 here and 19 in most of Canada. 21 seems too high to me.
The issue isn't with the drinking age in the US; it has to do with the stigma associated with alcohol that is taught to all children (and drugs too, but that's another topic). If we, as parents and Americans, can expose our children to alcohol in moderation, perhaps we can minimize the amount of binge drinking they will engage in once they're on their own. The key is to teach moderation to children while they're still impressionable and under your roof.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
31,367
4,679
Portland, OR
If we, as parents and Americans, can expose our children to Junk Food in moderation, perhaps we can minimize the amount of fat kids. The key is to teach moderation to children while they're still impressionable and under your roof.
:stupid:
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
31,367
4,679
Portland, OR
You were a fat kid, weren't you?
I was wicked skinny until I joined the Navy (I actually had to gain 5 pounds before boot camp because I was under weight).

18 = 6'3" @172lbs
36 = 6'4" @250lbs

But I can sure drink a lot more now that I could then :D
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
If you can die in a war @ 18 you should be able to drink a beer at 18 too...
let's spill out for my homies fallin' in the middle east, son



there's an age-of-consent angle here too, but that would be in poor taste
 

DaveW

Space Monkey
Jul 2, 2001
9,068
852
Karori, Poneke Te Ika-a-Maui
Canadian youth are more mature and responsible than American kids..I say leave it at 21....D
This would be the problem NZ has at the moment. 2 years ago they lowered the age from 20 to 18, cue masses of insanely drunk kid's in town causing problems for everyone.
I feel that before you can lower it in bars and the like you MUST get a social engineering program going to change peoples attitude to drink from what we (and you in the US) have to the mainland European one where alcohol is a part of life around the family home (eg: glass of wine or beer with dinner) from quite an early age like 7 or 8. So that by the time the brain development changes that come with puberty arrive, alcohol is viewed as a normal part of life and not a target that means they are suddenly adults!
The French and Italian attitude as two examples show that binge drinking while not eliminated (that is just never going to happen) it is very minimal in comparison to what we have.
 

Arutha

Monkey
Nov 26, 2002
113
0
Western PA
This would be the problem NZ has at the moment. 2 years ago they lowered the age from 20 to 18, cue masses of insanely drunk kid's in town causing problems for everyone.
I feel that before you can lower it in bars and the like you MUST get a social engineering program going to change peoples attitude to drink from what we (and you in the US) have to the mainland European one where alcohol is a part of life around the family home (eg: glass of wine or beer with dinner) from quite an early age like 7 or 8. So that by the time the brain development changes that come with puberty arrive, alcohol is viewed as a normal part of life and not a target that means they are suddenly adults!
The French and Italian attitude as two examples show that binge drinking while not eliminated (that is just never going to happen) it is very minimal in comparison to what we have.
I agree.

I don't think there should be a drinking age, if I wish to let my kid drink a beer then I should be allowed. I will wait till he is older than 1.5 for a whole bottle though. :)

The issue is how to go about changing it. If we just lower it then there will be more drinking although I can't picture drinking more than when I was in high school. It's not hard to get alcohol... But I can envision many kids getting drunk and buying beer for their under age friends. The only solution I see to lowering it is increase the penalties at the same time. There will certainly be more kids being penalized but hopefully other kids will see what is happening and stop and think a little. Hope I am not putting too much faith in our youth....
 

RenegadeRick

98th percentile on my SAT & all I got was this tin
The issue isn't with the drinking age in the US; it has to do with the stigma associated with alcohol that is taught to all children (and drugs too, but that's another topic). If we, as parents and Americans, can expose our children to alcohol in moderation, perhaps we can minimize the amount of binge drinking they will engage in once they're on their own. The key is to teach moderation to children while they're still impressionable and under your roof.
Ding ding ding. We have a winner. This is how it should be. Permit parents to expose their children to alcohol in a responsible manner and they might not go crazy with the likker when they get the opportunity to get it for themselves whenever they want.

After I heard about this on the radio the other day, I was adjusting my tinfoil hat in the mirror and wondering if maybe the government does not want to solve a problem here and would actually prefer to create one. By glorifying alcohol and denying it's consumption at the same time, it's easy to see how it makes kids want to drink. Pure marketing genius. Not only does Big Booze ensure a steady stream of new customers, the police and courts can have a a steady stream of business as well. It's win-win-win-win-win-win!

In a free society like America™, the government has no place in telling anyone what they can put into their own bodies.

:cheers:
 

X3pilot

Texans fan - LOL
Aug 13, 2007
5,861
1
SoMD
Drinking age is like any other type of government regulation along this line. Useless and a waste of time enforcing and totally dependent upon the good citizens to follow it. Just like guns, traffic laws, drivers licenses and legal immigration, if you want to drink it, drive it, shoot it or sneak into it, you will find a way. Locks don't prevent thefts, they just keep honest people honest.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,409
456
chez moi
Lower it. I like the 19 year old idea...then again, that just means that the kid who was left back will be buying for everyone else when he finally becomes a senior (or a junior, depending on how much of an academic superstar he is...)

If you can vote, you can probably decide what to drink.
 

reflux

Turbo Monkey
Mar 18, 2002
4,622
2
G14 Classified
Okay, a valid question based on the topic...

If a younger group of society is allowed to drink, 19 and 20 year olds, do you believe they will drink and drive at the same percentage as those in the 21-2x age group?
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
Okay, a valid question based on the topic...

If a younger group of society is allowed to drink, 19 and 20 year olds, do you believe they will drink and drive at the same percentage as those in the 21-2x age group?
[ed for clarity] no, as the older you get, the more there is at risk of losing (career, family, etc.)
 
Last edited:

MTBracer

Monkey
Nov 19, 2007
192
0
Massachusetts
yes, as the older you get, the more there is at risk of losing (career, family, etc.)
Wow. that's an awesome point. i never thought about it like that :clue: but isn't it mostly the people that don't have much to lose that end up screwing over the people that do? I.E. when drunk driver hits van full of family...
If i'm wrong no need to flame me..
 

BMXman

I wish I was Canadian
Sep 8, 2001
13,830
0
Victoria, BC
This would be the problem NZ has at the moment. 2 years ago they lowered the age from 20 to 18, cue masses of insanely drunk kid's in town causing problems for everyone.
I feel that before you can lower it in bars and the like you MUST get a social engineering program going to change peoples attitude to drink from what we (and you in the US) have to the mainland European one where alcohol is a part of life around the family home (eg: glass of wine or beer with dinner) from quite an early age like 7 or 8. So that by the time the brain development changes that come with puberty arrive, alcohol is viewed as a normal part of life and not a target that means they are suddenly adults!
The French and Italian attitude as two examples show that binge drinking while not eliminated (that is just never going to happen) it is very minimal in comparison to what we have.
I agree 100% in talking with kids here and observing their behaviour...they don't see alcohol as such a big deal....the kids aren't sitting around and praying for the day they turn 19....D
 

skinny mike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 24, 2005
6,416
0
If a younger group of society is allowed to drink, 19 and 20 year olds, do you believe they will drink and drive at the same percentage as those in the 21-2x age group?
i can tell you that a good portion of those who would drink and drive if they could legally drink are already doing so. at the very least, that's my observation of my hometown, where underage drinking is rampant.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
but isn't it mostly the people that don't have much to lose that end up screwing over the people that do? I.E. when drunk driver hits van full of family...
if we're talking how does avg loser affect avg winner in life, well it would be fair to say being hit by a drunk driver might not be in the top 5
 

skinny mike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 24, 2005
6,416
0
i think vermont has it right, they want make it legal for 18 year olds to buy beer that is no more than 4.0% abv and that's it. keep young adults from buying hard liquor and going into bars until they are (hopefully) more responsible about alcohol at the age of 21.

although the beer connoisseur in me thinks they need to make exceptions for 6 packs that are under 8.0% abv...