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Alcohol Discussion.

 
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stroh
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Alcohol Discussion.
« on: August 22, 2008, 11:55:36 AM »

Much talk lately about the university presidents all signing to have the legal drinking age lowered back to 18.

What's everyones take?

Personally, I'm for it.  I will believe it will temper on campus binge drinking.

I say, however, if you do it you must marry it with much stiffer penalties for alcohol related crimes.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 12:02:03 PM by stroh » Logged Return to Top
spacey
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Re: Alcohol Disscussion.
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2008, 11:59:51 AM »

I think if you're old enough to pick up a rifle and die for your country, you're old enough to have a beer.
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stroh
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Re: Alcohol Disscussion.
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2008, 12:01:51 PM »

I think if you're old enough to pick up a rifle and die for your country, you're old enough to have a beer.

Agreed.  That's exactly how I played it at 18.
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Jules
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2008, 12:38:12 PM »

Agree.
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Jules
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2008, 12:40:05 PM »

Eighteen is the age over here that you are classified as an adult and you can legally have a drink.
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Clive
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2008, 12:43:55 PM »

I think if you're old enough to pick up a rifle and die for your country, you're old enough to have a beer.
I don't necessarily agree.

You do your warring away; you do your drinking at home.  The public health/safety concerns that don't exist with war activities do exist at home.  (That is to say, we don't really give a *feces* who all dies when we send you and your weapon overseas, but we sure as hell do care whether or not you smash into some soccer mom's minivan full of kids.)  Teens get their licenses at 16.  I don't think two years' limited driving experience is enough to add alcohol to the mix.

DUI aside, I also wonder at the psychological development/maturity of 18-year-old Americans.  Would exposure to alcohol at 18 increase alcohol/drug use later in life?  My completely anecdotal seat-of-the-pants observation is that the people I know/knew who drank earlier tend now to be the ones who drink more and who got into drugs.  The ones who didn't do any or as much underage drinking tend now to be limited drinkers.  Yes, I get that the two pools may be cut from different cloth ... but without some evidence that underage exposure itself isn't a contributing factor, I'm hesitant to endorse it.
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Walfredo
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2008, 12:55:28 PM »

I'm more on Clive's side on this one.  If we had adequate public transportation I may change my tune.  I don't necessarily agree with him that earlier exposure leads to more future use.  I feel the removed stigma attached to doing something illegal will make it less of a big deal.  It seems that is the case in Europe.  Earlier exposure could help with learning responsibility that comes with drinking.  Now kids have to binge because they aren't allowed to just chill with a beer you know.  It becomes a huge deal procuring said beverages, then you got to have a party and what now.  Okay so I'm more on the fence than I thought I guess.
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spacey
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2008, 01:03:50 PM »

But in all fairness, we're not talking about at what age an individual might be better equipped to drive a car intoxicated. DUI is illegal at any age, and lowering the legal drinking age doesn't make DUI any less illegal.

Slipping into armchair human behaviorist mode, I think the reason underage drinking in the U.S. might potentially lead to increased incidence of alcohol and drug abuse has more to do with the taboo and rebellion of it than to do with at what age people begin drinking. Particularly, in my completely untrained opinion, when it's "screw you, I'm 18 and I'm old enough to make my own decisions" type drinking.

Anecdotal evidence aside, I think there would be value in comparing the rates of alcoholism, DUI, and other alcohol related crimes between the U.S. and other countries with lower minimum drinking ages, and no minimum drinking age at all. I, of course, am far too lazy to do the leg work.
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stroh
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2008, 01:10:43 PM »

Now kids have to binge because they aren't allowed to just chill with a beer you know.  It becomes a huge deal procuring said beverages, then you got to have a party and what now.  Okay so I'm more on the fence than I thought I guess.


This is exactly my argument.


Like I said initially, ETOH driving penalties must go beyond punitive to downright oppressive.  Period.

My experience is that those who will, do.

I heard an interesting take on it that I like.  Probably too huge of a logistic undertaking but a good idea.  A step system to graduating up.

18 legal consumption with parents.
19 legal consumption alone, limited purchase. (beer only, limited quantities, etc.)
21 legal consumption.
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Spanky
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2008, 02:37:05 PM »

The drinking age changed to 21 just when I was 16 or so. I was pissed. I drank in spite of it. When I was in the Navy and in Florida the driking age was still 18 but about to change. I drank legaly there for about 2 months. I got bored with it in that time and no longer drank heavily until I got the the ship.

I agree on take away the taboo of it and it's no big deal. You tell me I can't and that makes me want to more. If you let me have it, meh no big deal.

Some people will still drink a lot. Most I think will not. Was it such a big problem back in the day when it was legal at 18?
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hobbit
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2008, 03:12:27 PM »

I say lower it, remove the 'forbidden fruit' aspect of it, etc.

I have a good friend that never drank until he was 21 - he's now a drinker and a smoker.  My brother drank as a teenager and hardly has a drink now (I ruined him on a visit to see me at college  Wink ).  Completely anecdotal, sure, but its what I have in my head right now.

Trust/maturity - I did just as stupid and foolish things in my 20s as I did when I was 18.  I've never had an alcohol related incident (legally, nor one that resulted in injury - unless of course you include injuring ones pride) at either age.  I think us older folk tend to think 18 year olds are a lot less mature than they are.  I trust me at 18, why should I not trust others at the same age?

Finally, we don't need to increase the penalties - they are plenty stiff now.  Just because only 1 of 100 get caught doesn't mean you have to levy 100 times the punishment on that one.  We need to stop trying to over-punish the ones we've caught because we're pissed about the ones that were not.  Punish for the crime, not for the ones that aren't caught.  Trust me - go get a DUI/DWI, then see if you tell me the penalty needs to be stiffer.  We're good.  MADD did their job 15 or so years ago, lets not go too far.

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Uisce Beatha
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2008, 05:16:05 PM »

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Tut
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2008, 06:41:39 PM »

I think if you're old enough to pick up a rifle and die for your country, you're old enough to have a beer.

I think you've got something there, Spacey!  Let's change the law to let any military folk drink legally when they are under 21.  I don't see why we should extend that to anyone else under 21, just because they have some unfulfilled potential to serve in the military. 

The impetus for the original push to force the states to raise their legal drinking ages to 21 was not to protect those from 18 to 20, but to distance the ability of kids in high school to easily get alcohol.  I believe that the university Presidents have missed that distinction in the intent of the law. 

Plus, letting active military folk enjoy this benefit of their service to the country might influence  some of the dead end job slackers working in Blockbuster, AMC Theaters, and Zumiez Skateboard Shop to realize that military service isn't a bad stop to a productive career.  I've not seen a little military service hurt anyone, and quite frankly, I see plenty of people skating through life that it would immeasurably help.
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Spartan
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2008, 08:07:45 PM »

When I was in college, the drinking age was 18.  Learning what I could and couldn't handle was as much of the college experience as the classroom.

Although making it 19 generally keeps it out of the high schools (In theory).
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Re: Alcohol Discussion.
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2008, 08:45:14 PM »

So you guys are saying that 18 year olds have the (supposed) judgement to vote for the most powerful man in the world, but not when to have a drink or not?

I'm calling BS.

I think if you're old enough to pick up a rifle and die for your country, you're old enough to have a beer.

'Zactly, and every swingin' richard ought to be required to do the former, and then decide if they want to the latter.
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