Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beer News; Changing the drinking age

I haven't seen much comment from bloggers on this, but it seems to be somewhat big real news these days.

Drinking Age Should Be 18, Colleges Say

Let Debate Begin: Drinking Age Back To 18

Heck, just do a yahoo news search for Drinking Age 18, and you get a bagillion results.

So, as an avid drinker, and supporter of peoples rights, what are my thoughts on this.

If a person is old enough to join the army, they should be old enough to drink. The minimum age for enlistment in the United States Military is 17 (with parental consent) #1

If a person is old enough to vote, they should be old enough to drink. 18; however, in many states, persons 17 years of age are permitted to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 years of age on or before the day of the general election. #2

So in the United States, a person is old enough to fight for their country; old enough to vote on issues; but not old enough to consume alcohol.

Earlier today, I mentioned the Age of Consent. My position is this, if a person is old enough/responsible enough to have sex/drive/enlist/vote, they are old enough to drink too.

The movement by the college deans is called the Amethyst Initiative.

Launched in July 2008, the Amethyst Initiative is made up of chancellors and presidents of universities and colleges across the United States. These higher education leaders have signed their names to a public statement that the 21 year-old drinking age is not working, and, specifically, that it has created a culture of dangerous binge drinking on their campuses.

The Amethyst Initiative supports informed and unimpeded debate on the 21 year-old drinking age. Amethyst Initiative presidents and chancellors call upon elected officials to weigh all the consequences of current alcohol policies and to invite new ideas on how best to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol use.
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is against lowering the drinking age.

MADD has a rebuttal to it. (available here)

Perhaps MADD should change their name to Mothers Against Drinking.

I do not like having anyone dictate to me, what I can or can not do. I do not like having MADD tell people who can do everything that a person over 21 can do, that they are not allowed to drink.

Life is full of milestones. At 16, you get your license; at 18, you get to join the selective service (register for the draft) you also get to vote; at 21 you get to finally be considered old enough to drink.

I'm against Drunk Driving, I don't know anyone who isn't. I'd wager people who have been arrested for DUI are also against it (but they'll claim circumstances... I know I do the times that I shouldn't have driven). If MADD wants there to be no drunk drivers, they'll have to outlaw alcohol, and we already saw how that worked in the U.S.

When otherwise normal activities are criminalized, otherwise normal people become criminals.

(Marijuana should be legal too)


Eli the Mad (Beer) Man said...

I don't see how anyone or any organization can actually provide a logical argument against lowering the drinking age.

Like you, I'm calling out MADD. The stats they've been providing about deaths related to alcohol are nothing short of falsified documents. MADD started out nobly enough, but has since turned into a Hitleristic Witch Hunting Regime bent on eradicating drinking in this country. They have become the modern day version of the Temperance Movement, whom we all know kick started the horrible "noble experiment" that was Prohibition.

It just boggles my mind -- in this advanced day and age -- how people in this country can view alcohol as some "evil" entity. It's embarrassing actually.

Cheers! ;)

vgrid said...

Crusaders are bad. Nothing is as completely binary as they make it out to be.

MADD does have some good ideas, I'm for the breathalyzer ignition thingy.

I'd say if they really want to help, they should provide cabs at bars. If you want to get drunk drivers off the street, then do it.

Of course, getting drunk drivers off the street is a 2 part exercise.

1. pick up drunk at bar.

2 (and this is the one that is neglected) take them to get their car the next morning.

Do those 2 things, and you will get rid of drunk driving.

Also, by lowering the legal drinking age to the same age where people can do ... oh... EVERYTHING ELSE; that will remove 18-20 year olds going to those parties and binge drinking. Put those drinkers in a (more) controlled environment, like a bar, and it will reduce binge drinking. Granted there are people who drink too much at bars and then throw up... but, from my memory, it's no where near the average of people who do the same at "underground" frat keg parties.

Thanks for the comment eli.