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View Poll Results: What should the drinking age be in the US?
21 16 17.20%
18 42 45.16%
16 0 0%
18 for beer/wine, 21 for spirits 11 11.83%
16 for beer/wine, 18 for spirits 5 5.38%
There should not be a minimum, kids should be taught how to drink appropriately at an early age. 19 20.43%
Voters: 93. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-15-2013, 07:56 AM
 
Location: SW FL
864 posts, read 1,433,272 times
Reputation: 861

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I'm not sure if there have been threads on this or not, but I would be curious to see what members on this site think about the present drinking age. I thought I would present my argument in favor of lowering it to eighteen and close it off with a poll to see what others think, and have a discussion.
First off, I must say that I see both sides of the argument. There are obviously a lot of variables to consider, so I can understand how people have differing opinions. Anyway, here's my argument.
People often say that if you can vote, buy a gun, serve your country, and get married, you should be able to have a drink. While this argument definitely holds some water, alcohol is excluded from the rights of an eighteen year old primarily because of the effects it has on other people through drunk driving accidents, fights, etc. Obviously buying a gun could potentially effect others, but I believe there are 21 + restrictions on certain assault weapons and there haven't been studies done to give people the idea that letting eighteen year olds buy guns is that big of an issue. So in conclusion, alcohol remains the most potentially harmful on the list.
There is also the argument that our drinking laws should mirror Europe and other developed countries. This argument is definitely valid, because the fact that we are the only country in the world with a 21 age limit besides some parts of the Middle East and Asia and Oceania, which looks very strange and overly stringent. The only argument I can make against this is that youth in Europe tend to be more responsible and brought up in a way that respects alcohol and discourages excess drinking. Unfortunately, excess drinking seems to be a big deal in the us, which we can not negate unless thorough efforts are made to change the culture. This is obviously not an easy task. Also, young people in other countries seem to not operate motor vehicles nearly as much as people in the us do. The 16 year driving age in the us obviously makes this easier.
The real reason I support lowering the drinking age or at least allowing each state to make an independent decision is because of the repulsive minimum drinking age act of 1984. The fact that congress dictated to each state that they would lose federal funding if they didn't comply with the drinking law is horrific. I guess you could say that congress has a right to do what they will with federal grants, but I think that states have a basic right to make their own decisions and should not be penalized for it. I am an avid libertarian and cannot help but feel by gut churn when I think of how it was handled.
Anyway, overall i think the drinking age is a result of the glorification of binge drinking in western culture. What are your thoughts on this issue?
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,514,457 times
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There should be no drinking age because it only encourages binge drinking in people's early 20s. Though the hard part would be getting rid of the drinking age now because you would have teens running out to the bars to get drunk.

Though on the other hand I do support having a drinking age because that meant that when I was single and at the bars, the girls were all at least 21 yrs old. I would hate to be getting drunk in a bar with very adult looking teens.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:09 AM
 
Location: somewhere in the woods
16,884 posts, read 13,032,849 times
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old enough to fight and die for your country at age 18, then you are also old enough to drink. if you complain about that, then just raise the age of people joining the military to 21.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:13 AM
 
Location: SW FL
864 posts, read 1,433,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
There should be no drinking age because it only encourages binge drinking in people's early 20s. Though the hard part would be getting rid of the drinking age now because you would have teens running out to the bars to get drunk.

Though on the other hand I do support having a drinking age because that meant that when I was single and at the bars, the girls were all at least 21 yrs old. I would hate to be getting drunk in a bar with very adult looking teens.
Good points. I'm sure when you're on the other end of the stick (21+), you're glad there aren't teens crashing the party.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,825 posts, read 20,222,014 times
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I think the drinking age should be:
  • If they are 14 or older, they may drink beer while in the company of their parents/legal guardian;
  • If they are 16 or older, they may buy and drink beer in public bars;
  • If they are 18 or older, they may buy and drink beer, wine, and spirits.
The alcohol level for drivers should also be lowered to 0.05.

If children truly do become adults at age 18, then they must be treated as adults and be given adult responsibilities. Otherwise they are still children, and the term "adult" is a misnomer.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,514,457 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rcsligar View Post
Good points. I'm sure when you're on the other end of the stick (21+), you're glad there aren't teens crashing the party.
It was bad enough when I hit my 30s and realized the bars I was hanging out with were filled with 21-22 yr old girls that were too young for what I was looking for.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:16 AM
 
Location: SW FL
864 posts, read 1,433,272 times
Reputation: 861
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeywrenching View Post
old enough to fight and die for your country at age 18, then you are also old enough to drink. if you complain about that, then just raise the age of people joining the military to 21.
That's a terrible argument. The whole point is that if you are declared an adult by law at eighteen almost everywhere, you should be granted all your rights.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: SW FL
864 posts, read 1,433,272 times
Reputation: 861
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
It was bad enough when I hit my 30s and realized the bars I was hanging out with were filled with 21-22 yr old girls that were too young for what I was looking for.
Ha, hope this cycle doesn't continue.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: A great city, by a Great Lake!
15,908 posts, read 10,073,794 times
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Old enough to vote, old enough to die in bulls*** wars, old enough to drink.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:24 AM
 
Location: texas
9,137 posts, read 6,751,455 times
Reputation: 2374
We forget our national history. Americans were drop down drunkards. That is one of the reason that precipatated prohibition.

Quote:
Imbibing with the birds was one of the daily liquid breaks colonists enjoyed.

A bucket of beer was often a standard part of the workday for tradesmen.

In 1790, United States government figures showed that annual per-capita alcohol consumption for everybody over fifteen amounted to thirty-four gallons of beer and cider, five gallons of distilled spirits, and one gallon of wine.
Drinking in Colonial America: Rattle-Skull, Stonewall, Bogus, Blackstrap, Bombo, Mimbo, Whistle Belly, Syllabub, Sling, Toddy, and Flip : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site
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