Lowering the Legal Drinking Age

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Lowering the Legal Drinking Age

Post by Chiasm Chicken on 6/5/2014, 11:22

The current drinking age in America is 21. Do you think that it should be lowered to 18? Explain your response and be sure to include examples from the article.

I think that, no, the drinking age should not be lowered, that is a terrible idea thank you very much. Although logically it might make sense (you are considered an adult at that age, you can smoke, join the army, get married, etc.), it is not a good idea as a whole. It will result in even more alcohol-related deaths. I have seen one person argue that these deaths would help tune down the human race and get rid of all or most inferior specimens, but I don't think that's a relevant argument: the focus of effort in today's society is not centered on raising intelligence, but on technology and science and such, which is related to intelligence, but people are not currently trying to kill anyone who has an IQ below 80. Eliminating stupid people is, for the most part, irrelevant to this discussion, though it may have a place in its own topic. That said, if you think it is worth mentioning here, you may do so--I just don't think it is.
My main concern for this law is not that 18-year-olds are not mature enough to drink, but that anyone younger than 18 is most definitely far too immature to act sensibly with a bottle in hand. If you lower the drinking age, younger people are going to drink. People break the law. If you change the law to allow for more flexibility, people are going to take advantage of it, just as they do with more rigid laws. While some 18-year-olds may be mature enough to drink responsibly, people under 18 are not. These people will begin drinking, however, as access to alcohol will become infinitely easier when so many more people begin using it.
This is my main concern, but there is also the fact that alcohol, if consumed in large amounts, will heavily and permanently damage your body, especially at a young age. Drinking also makes everyday activities such as drinking and, er, everything else more dangerous, and many negative consequences could be avoided without it. If more people drink, more people die, and that is a number I would prefer not to raise.



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Re: Lowering the Legal Drinking Age

Post by Charlock Holmes on 6/11/2014, 09:36

I have thought long and hard over this and have decided on two things: One: the drinking age should be lowered to 18. Two: change the law.

At 18, you are deemed old enough to make your own life decisions, and alcohol should be one of them. Besides, if someone decides to get married at 20, do you really expect them not to drink?

The main problem I have with the law itself is that a minor can drink on their parent's property with parent permission. If your parents give their permission (provided they are of sound mind at the time) and are present, you should be able to drink at restaurants or parties at other people's houses.

When it comes to laws regarding the consumption of alcohol, they will always be broken. Just see how Prohibition went.
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Re: Lowering the Legal Drinking Age

Post by Chiasm Chicken on 6/12/2014, 11:09

Charlock Holmes wrote:At 18, you are deemed old enough to make your own life decisions, and alcohol should be one of them.
But there are many things that you can't do, even at eighteen. You can't rent a car, rent a hotel room, adopt a child, purchase firearms, etc., etc. These things are off limits because they require more responsibility and maturity than the average eighteen-year-old has. Alcohol is listed among these actions because it, much like adopting a child or handling a gun, is something that can greatly affect the lives of the people around you. Smoking, buying your own car, and driving can endanger people, but less so than something that is off-limits until one turns twenty-one.

Charlock Holmes wrote:Besides, if someone decides to get married at 20, do you really expect them not to drink?
The question is not whether or not I expect them to drink. The question is whether or not they should drink, and to that, I think the answer is no.
I also don't think people should be getting married at eighteen, but because marriage has less of a negative effect on people than alcohol has the potential to, I'm in favor of keeping the law where it stands.

Charlock Holmes wrote:The main problem I have with the law itself is that a minor can drink on their parent's property with parent permission. If your parents give their permission (provided they are of sound mind at the time) and are present, you should be able to drink at restaurants or parties at other people's houses.
Parents are allowed to give their children permission on their property because, there, the damage is (somewhat) limited. Underaged kids are also being supervised by their own parents, who would know how to best control them and in general how to take care of a tipsy teen. Other parents would not know how to control someone when they became drunk--and imagine the parties! Two parents are not able to manage ten+ drunken teenagers.

Charlock Holmes wrote:When it comes to laws regarding the consumption of alcohol, they will always be broken.
If you decrease the legal drinking age, more people will drink, and I'd be willing to bet that more people will drink illegally. An eighteen-year-old is (hopefully) more mature than a fifteen- or sixteen-year-old, and although they do lack the emotional maturity to wait until twenty-one to drink, they are better at controlling themselves. They are not, however, mature enough to withhold alcohol from minors who request it. Even if an eighteen-year-old is mature enough to handle alcohol, a sixteen-year-old is not, and is also not mature enough to know it.
People lust after alcohol partly because of the forbidden fruit aspect. Lowering the age limit would not get rid of this aspect, but would make younger people see the appeal in the drink while also allowing them to access it more easily. Sixteen-year-olds already have a reputation of driving badly--imagine what would happen if you added alcohol to that walking (driving?) deathtrap!



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Re: Lowering the Legal Drinking Age

Post by Alurmas on 6/17/2014, 10:28

I feel that the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18. First off (I have done my research) almost every responsibility is given to you at 18. At this age one can: rent a hotel room (they can not be denied a room at this age), you can drive, rent a car through an underage program, you can get married, you can buy a house or rent an apartment, and you become ultimately free from your parents. 18 is the age where you become an adult and start making your own in the world. I feel that one should be allowed to drink at this time.

Chiasm Chicken wrote:If you decrease the legal drinking age, more people will drink, and I'd be willing to bet that more people will drink illegally.

The amount of people who already drink illegally is way too high and probably will never be improved. With the legal age being 21 now, a great deal of teens drink. Studies have shown that alcohol is the most abused substances by teens and lowering the age to 18 isn't going to increase it a great deal because so many teens already abuse it!

The key to help stop teen alcohol abuse is education. If teens were properly educated about the risks and effects of alcohol it would make a much bigger impact in stopping it. Changing the age isn't going to hurt the teen population when it is already hurting itself so much.
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Re: Lowering the Legal Drinking Age

Post by Chiasm Chicken on 6/18/2014, 20:27

Alurmas wrote:almost every responsibility is given to you at 18.
Almost. There are a key few exceptions to the do-everything-at-age-eighteen rule, and one of those exceptions is drinking. Why? Because it's dangerous enough to have an established separate laws.

Alurmas wrote:At this age one can: rent a hotel room (they can not be denied a room at this age)
Yes, they can. Many hotels do not allow eighteen-year-olds to rent rooms because teenagers are not mature enough to handle that responsibility, much as they are not mature enough to handle the responsibility that alcohol represents.

Alurmas wrote:rent a car through an underage program
As there are exceptions to the renting-a car-at-age-twenty-five rule, so there are exceptions to the drinking-alcohol-at-age-twenty-one-rule. You may drink with parent permission and on parent property. Under those circumstances, a parent takes responsibility of any events that may unravel and any damage to property or person that may occur while their child is inebriated. Likewise, an underage car rental program is taking a risk and accepting responsibility for any damage that came of an accident.

Alurmas wrote:If teens were properly educated about the risks and effects of alcohol it would make a much bigger impact in stopping it.
I agree, but until the education is improved and current underage drinkers realize the danger of their actions, it will not be safe to lower the drinking limit. Increasing education should be a first priority, not letting more kids drink and then teaching them it's dangerous.

Alurmas wrote:Changing the age isn't going to hurt the teen population when it is already hurting itself so much.
All right, say it doesn't hurt the teen population. What are the pros of lowering the drinking age? Even if no harm was to come of it (which, as expressed, I don't think is true), what good would come of it? What should make me want to support your opinion as opposed to simply becoming neutral or keeping my current standpoint?



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Re: Lowering the Legal Drinking Age

Post by Charlock Holmes on 6/28/2014, 12:07

I think that current education about alcohol is BS. I had to sit through an alcohol education class that taught us that you should never touch alcohol EVER. At least, that's how it seemed to me. Yes, we were taught that one or two drinks won't kill you, but that message was drowned out by all the stories of partying college students who died of too much alcohol or driving drunk and smashing their car.

It's the same alcohol-paranoia that the entire U.S. has. Examples: It is severely frowned upon to  even bring a minor into a liquor store. At my local grocery store, a teenage cashier cannot touch a container of alcohol to check it out; the adult buying it has to.  

Alcohol education should teach you to drink responsibly, not scare you into sobriety. Teach kids to know their limits and set a designated driver. Don't ignore the health benefits of alcohol to make your point about it destroying your liver seem scarier.
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