Monday, August 18, 2008

Lower the Drinking Age Campaign

This is sort of interesting, there's a movement afoot to get the drinking age lowered from 21 to 18. The people organizing to promote such a plan? Not college students, but college presidents and chancellors. It's called the Amethyst Initiative.

I took a look at the signatories of this initiative and, unless I missed one at this late (11th) hour, the only Illinois institution to have a signatory is Quincy University. (Which I will never get used to being called a University; it's Quincy COLLEGE dammit.) Anyway, I don't know what that means but there it is.

Personally, I can see both sides of the issue. It seems to me that once you are an adult at 18 you should be allowed to drink. On the other hand there seems to be some demonstrable benefits (less DUI, etc.) to the higher drinking age.

Fortunately, at 48, I'm in the safe zone and won't have my beer-buying privileges revoked again. Not like when I was 19 and, at the time, of legal drinking age, only to have the Illinois Legislature raise the drinking age to 21 making me underage again for 18 months. Bastards.

12 comments:

rosalind24 said...

I agree with the professors. When you're 18, you can smoke, watch porn, drive, vote, join the military, get tried as adults in court, volunteer to go to war, but you can't drink.

... WHY?

I think the earlier people are exposed to alcohol the more likely they're going to learn to drink in moderation. Alcohol is not bad. It's only bad if you drink and drive or act irresponsibly otherwise.

I think MADD should focus on teaching their kids to be responsible drinkers instead of dangling a carrot in front of them then tell them they can't have it for another 3 years while they watch others drink.

AParrotHead said...

I am nothing short of stunned and amazed that president's of our nation's universities would be so convoluted in their thinking to suggest this. It's a thought process along the lines of, "Let's reduce our homicide rate by legalizing murder." True; statistically, the numbers will fall, but did you solve the problem? How about teaching responsibility for your actions? But wait...that would be much more difficult and put the onus on the educators at these "fine" schools. I've been a "partyer" since my very early teens. Probably one of the things that saved my life was the fact I (or my teen friends) could not legally obtain alcohol. Here's a suggestion for the Amethyst group...BAN drinking from campus. Send a clear message that your focus is education. No; that would be much too difficult and heaven forbid, the universities might lose some tuitions if they didn't collude. WAKE UP!

Anonymous said...

How about we worry about the students education first!
Lets not promote legal drinking to the ones that wont drink because they obey the law, but would drink if legally able to do so. Hiw about the colleges teach their students to be lawful and abiding citizens. When I went to school in Ohio, you were expelled if caught drinking or arrested. What happened to that concept. Going back to 18 is so wrong in so many ways. I dont want to be killed by some dipwad college student that has only been driving a little sport car mommy bought him for a year or so and then been at one of these binge drinking parties drunk out of his mind. Im ashamed at Ohio State for being involved in this. We need to remember that they are there to learn. I dont want to go to the emergency room and be treated by a 22 year old quasi alcoholic that partied his way thru college.

Anonymous said...

Reply to rosalind24
First thing to comes to mind is that you are an idiot. Were you drinking responsibly when you wrote this? You quote that they can do all these other things at 18. How be about being a lawful and abiding citizen at 18? The quote of your about being exposed earlier to alcohol will teach them moderation. That was a very stupid and rediculous statement.
Then you state, MADD should teach the kids to be responsible drinkers.
Where in the world would you come up with that?!?! It is not MADD's responsibility to teach kids anything. Especially what you ask them to do. How about we go back to the concept of parents and teachers, teaching children to be reponsible people and to teach them something you apparently werent taught. To think with your head, before talking out your butt. Grow up Rosie.

C-rad said...

As a 17 year old soon-to-be Freshman in college, I can see both sides to the arguement. I came from a small town with my high school where it's students only drank to get drunk, simply because it was illegal for them. If the drinking ae is lowered, the numbers will fall. Good thing right? Maybe not.

I can also see the danger of having the age lowered, then others loose control of their will power to drink responsibly. A friend over in Guam, where the drinking age is 18, has caught numerous amounts of young men (18 - 20) basically killing themselves because "I can drink here and it's legal."

After hearing sof a potental alcohol posioning, and how the guy got out of it, personally my lips won't be hitting thecasual drinking bottle anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Great, so my high school students that I teach can now get alcohol from their senior friends and siblings? Are they even thinking about the fact that many high school seniors turn 18 early in their senior year? So now because they cannot control their campuses we will be forced to deal with an even larger issue than we already have in the high schools? Passing the buck again.....

Anonymous said...

When I was at college at 19 and 20, I drank EVERY chance I got, because God only knew when I was going to see alcohol again. Much like a poor kid who eats himself fat not knowing when his next meal will be.
When I turned 21, I bought a six pack of Red Dog almost immediately. Guess what? I didn't finish the 6 pack until about 5 months later. I'm living PROOF that when something is legal, the fun is taken out of it.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I thought MADD stood for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Not Mothers Against Underage Drinking. See the letters don't even work. Shouldn't their goal be responsible consumption and the promotion of designated drivers rather then an all out ban? And statistically, aren't most DUI's between the ages of 35 and 45?

Matthew said...

This article is bunk at best. Statistical research shows that an increase in drinking age from 18 to 21 had little to no effect on the number of overall traffic fatalities. Sure the number of drunk driving fatalities in the 18-21 age group fell to a lower level, but the number of drunk driving fatalities in the 21-25 age group increased by an even larger amount (points to the college professors). Statistically the only proven method for decreasing overall DD deaths is to increase the sales tax on alcoholic beverages. (It's a fact you can look it up and run the regressions on it if you like). As far as overall alcoholic fatalities go I'd put a fat bet that it follows a similar trend. Laws don't really "change" people they just modify their behavior slightly. For the people who say "well why not just legalize murder, same thing"... last time I checked DD is still illegal and age discrimination (18 is above the age of consent, the min voting, the min military service age, and you can get the death penalty so it certainly IS age discrimination) for almost no reason is Unamerican. When dealing with emotionally charged issues you need to look at facts and not take advice from mainly hysterical parents.

Andrea said...

I have never understood the reasoning of the 21 drinking age. I am with rosalind on this. At 18, you can die for your country, but you can't have a beer. You can vote, but you are still a child in regards to alcohol. Let me tell you something, I will obey laws that are reasonable. And my children, if they want a beer, they can have it at home. And being raised this way, how many times has my child snuck out to drink? NEVER.

How many times has she drank at a friends house? NEVER. She doesn't have to. And how often does she drink you ask? Probably 1 wine cooler about 8 months ago. In our house, with her mother.

I had a child at 18. I was working and paying my own way, raising my daughter by myself, paying my own bills, and the law said I was too young to drink.

The drinking age of 21 is ignorant. But hell, we live in the US where it is legal to murder our unborn CHILDREN.

condomondo said...

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Marcus.

Anonymous said...

Tell me if I'm wrong, for I am unsure, but on a military base, if you are an active duty member, aren't you allowed to drink? I know 20 some odd years ago at Nellis Air Force Base, an 18 year old may purchase beer (as many cases as he wanted) just not anything considered "hard".

I understand the idea of "You may die for America, but well... that beer, ILLEGAL!" For road reasons... and my own mental health, I know many of my own graduating class I wouldn't trust with some booze in them, nor their parents.

Maybe this really shouldn't come down to age, more like responsibility. Andrea, very responsible, have a brewski. Someoe who can't grasp the concept of "let's drink 'til I'm drunk".... not so responsible.

Remember 18 year olds and 50 year olds can be stupid alike