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At FoxNews.com , Radley Balko looks at a new campaign to lower the federal drinking age.

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    Previously posted as:

    Radley Balko hands out drinks to 18-year olds and profiles the college president who wants to make that legal.

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    I'll drink to that.

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    It is a nice thought, but I highly doubt that Federal Congress, this, the previous, or any other one, would seriously contemplate restricting their power over the states.

    The only way that this would gain traction is by out voicing MADD and proving the harm done by it to our "children". Good luck.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    If this gets legs, I can't wait to hear the shrieks from MADD and the christian right.

    Oh, and FU to whoever deleted the post with my comments in them.

  • VM||

    Also - you could see "scare' tactics involved, so any politician that supports lowering the age would be equated with being in favor of teenage homicide or something.

    argh!

    In happier news, Explosion at Iraq parliament cafe in the green zone.

    argh again!

  • SugarFree||

    Proposal for new Hit & Run drinking game rule:

    Whenever there is a post about drinking, drink.

    (ChrisO seems to be on my side...)

  • ||

    delaying first exposure to alcohol until young adults are away from home may not be the best way to introduce them to drink.

    Bingo. My parents taught me to drink responsibly. First and foremost by example. I was first poured wine at the table in my early teens (maybe twelve even). By the time I was legal (18), I was well aware of what three drinks would do to me. I still had a few 'nights of irresponsibility' once I left home, but only a few.

    But I have to say, the notion of responcible drinking (and especially drug use in general) seems to have faded from the American psychic. I am now as old as my parents were back then. I don't know any of my peers that drink in moderation like I do. It's pretty much taken as a given that once you start drinking you keep going till you're shitfaced.

  • ||

    What I was struck by was the link near the bottom of the article about parents who let their kids have a glass of wine with dinner. They did a nice job conflating that with the issue of serving booze to OTHER people's kids!

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    Give a child a drink and you will give him a buzz for one day. Teach a child to drink and he can be buzzed for a whole lifetime.

  • ||

    It's pretty much taken as a given that once you start drinking you keep going till you're shitfaced.
    Is there any other way to drink?

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    Remember, to get anything like this passed in Congress means getting it passed Sen. Elizabeth Dole, the proto-fascist who was pushing this junk science 20 years ago as DOT Secretary.

    I lost all respect for this RINO p.o.s. when I read that after passing the 21-year-old law, she was contemplating perhaps raising the drinking age to 24. Yes, TWENTY-FOUR.

    I couldn't believe that this nanny-state defender shamed the Republican Party with this nonsense. She should have been tossed bodily out of office for that single statement, but her husband was Senate Minority Leader so she was safe to promote this anti-liberty trash to the public.

    20 years later, I still will never vote for Elizabeth Dole and I am a registered R. She will have to lead the repeal process personally before she ever gets my vote again.

    --PB, Charlotte

  • ||

    The drinking age will never get rolled back to 18, as most people stop giving a shit about it when they turn 21.

  • biologist||

    calling Elizabeth Dole a republican in name only is a convenient way to pretend members of the republican party haven't acted in a way contrary to conservative principles.

    remember, things you don't like = liberal political position, because you're a conservative

  • ||

    Separating Americans from their thirst for Prohibitionism of all types is endless, thankless job, Radley. Mix 1 part liberal do-gooderism, 1 part Crazy Christerism, and add a dash of "But what about the children!", and you have a lethal cocktail served up by your friendly Big Government Tavern 24/7.

  • ||

    Dole-bashers.

    Bash away, but Reagan signed on--he was supposedly the principled one, and could have just said "fuck off, bitch".

    He also signed terrible gun control legislation in 1986.

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    The other travesty of minimum drinking age legislation (and all nanny-state laws) is that it further degrades young people's respect for the law and turns them toward habitual lawbreaking.

  • ellipsis||

    Kirk, I can't see that as necessarily a bad thing.

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    Even if your view of a good alcohol experince is one where you end up shitfaced, it helps to have some experience and forethought - especially if you wish to be sure there will be a "next" alcohol experience.

    When I was growing up in a very hard drinking NY working class suburb, being able to "hold" your liquor was a prized attribute (at least for men). In other words, you learned by experience and also example how to have a good time with booze and how not to let that good time end up costing more than its worth, or else your friends didnt party with you.

    Kids today are denied that opportunity to develop, they are expected to magically know all they need to know on that magic day.

    And the idiocy of the "brain development argument" is stunning. Just like last time, it takes 18 year olds killing and dying to remind us that they are no longer children. If the brain keeps developing until 21 so that you cant handle alcohol until then, you sure as hell shouldnt be handling a machine gun either. Or, for that matter, having to face one.

    It is just another ironic sign that the information age is actually making us dumber: information (less accidents) trumps reasoning (it aint becasue of your stupid rule) every time. Using information to produce rational thought (rather than end it) is becoming a lost art.

  • VM||

    "Kids today are denied that opportunity to develop, they are expected to magically know all they need to know on that magic day."

    QFT. across the board. across the board!

  • ||

    Won't someone please think about the children? Er... underage adults.

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    "The other travesty of minimum drinking age legislation (and all nanny-state laws) is that it further degrades young people's respect for the law and turns them toward habitual lawbreaking."

    That may be good or bad, I guess, but is it really a travesty?

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    Interesting idea, Skallagrim...if our children's mental development is so important to us, we should raise the age limit on joining the military to 21.

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    "Supporters of the federal minimum argue that the human brain continues developing until at least the age of 21."

    Hmm. I can think of a number of people whose brains stopped developing much earlier.

  • DaveW||

    Radley has his chronology slightly wrong - the restriction of highway funds to force the states to implement the national speed limit occurred in 1974 and set the precedent for the later use of the same mechanism to enforce a national drinking age, not the other way around.

    Also, one argument in favor of the use of highway funds to support some uniform drinking age (not necessarily 21) was that otherwise, you got college students in high-age states driving across the border to lower-age states to get drunk, and then driving back sloshed, instead of just walking down to their local bar. I have no idea how prevalent this actually was, but it was one of the principal arguments at the time.

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    The other travesty of minimum drinking age legislation (and all nanny-state laws) is that it further degrades young people's respect for the law and turns them toward habitual lawbreaking.

    Kirk is absolutely correct (and brilliant as well!) Let's fight to raise the drinking age to 31............there's hope for a libertarian society yet!

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    While I agree it's good that citizens be mentally capable of breaking tyrannical laws, I think it would be a shame to let this current culture of anti-liberty legislation undermine our respect for the pure rule of law, which is necessary to maintain true liberty. (Anarchists are free to disagree, of course.)

  • bud light||

    I thought this was all pretty interesting until I got to the part about issuing a "drinking license"

    http://www.chooseresponsibility.org/license/

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    My parents let me have a small glass of wine with dinner when I still in the single digits. They then proceeded to get me hooked on very good alcohol, which is why I barely ever have more than the recommended health dosage. I simply can't afford it.

    So I'm all for lowering the drinking age; I want more wine snobs under 30!

  • VM||

    "So I'm all for lowering the drinking age; I want more wine snobs under 30!"

    ach nein! (grins)

    two white zin drinkers is about 12,000 too many.

    But if you're into wine, hier is a fantastic place!

    (paging TWC!!!!!)

  • ||

    I'd like to know how the questions on the AMA/RWJ survey about kids "obtaining" alcohol from their parents were written. I also was occasionally given a glass of wine with dinner when I was a kid. I got one every day on my birthday from the time I was about 8 or 9. I wouldn't describe that as "obtaining" alcohol from my parents, as if they were going on beer runs for me. But I'm guessing it all falls into one category on the survey.

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    And what about raiding Dad's liquor cabinet while Mom and Dad are out for the evening? Isn't that "obtaining" alcohol from your parents?

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    Elizabeth Dole needs to choke on a cock, preferably mine.

    For real.

  • ||

    Libertarian, they covered that one. Alcohol should be locked up. With the roach bait, presumably.

    BTW, I got a glass of wine every year on my birthday, and not every day, just to be perfectly clear...

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    For a magazine called Reason, you sure are supportive of numbing the mind with fermented liquids and combustible plants.

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    If the brain isn't fully developed, why let the young adults vote?

    I'm for a gradual approach. How about a drink or drive law for under 21s? You can get one kind of license (I like the idea of a drinking license) or another, prove you can handle it, then be able to get both at 21 if you prove yourself able to not be a fuckup. Or how about a law that says a high school diploma is a drinking license? Or a military i.d.?

    I know I'd prefer it just go back to 18, but maybe a gradual approach will get traction in our stupid Congress before a total repeal of 21 would.

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    What I love about the 21 year age minimum for drinking is that it's actually possible for someone to be charged for a crime as an adult for trying to purchase alcohol. One of the Bush daughters got nailed for that a few years back in Texas. The convoluted logic that says you are old enough to pay a criminal penalty as an adult for, um, acting like an adult, amazes me.

    On the other hand, feel free to get pregnant and have a baby at 15 or join the military and kill people before your 18th birthday. That's just kids stuff.


    It's probably true that this law won't change because the vast majority of voters are past 21 and don't care anymore. But my fellow dirty old perverts should keep this in mind. Lowering the age to 18 means drunk 18 year old ladies at your local bar.

  • LarryA||

    He (Reagan) also signed terrible gun control legislation in 1986.

    The Firearm Owners Protection Act was signed in 1986. The bill you're thinking about was the Gun Control Act of 1968.

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    >>But my fellow dirty old perverts should keep this in mind. Lowering the age to 18 means drunk 18 year old ladies at your local bar.

    Great Pepe. Go ahead and give 'em more justification for keeping it at 21 -- protecting the innocence of young girls who are apt to act immodest under the influence of drink!

    And think about the hapless young brothers. They have a difficult enough time controlling their sinful urges as it is.

    Remember, cleavage is a bigger stumbling block when wet, especially when it's wet with whiskey (but not vomit).

  • Rhywun||

    Lowering the age to 18 means drunk 18 year old ladies at your local bar.

    I think you mean "more" drunk 18 year old ladies. This would be rather like raising the speed limit to approach what people already drive.

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    "The Firearm Owners Protection Act was signed in 1986."

    You mean the legislation that is known in gun circles as the "machine gun ban", correct?

  • ||

    "I think you mean "more" drunk 18 year old ladies. This would be rather like raising the speed limit to approach what people already drive."

    Well, 18 year olds definitely drink. I know I did at that age. But in a bar? I don't know how it is where you live but everywhere I go bars are pretty careful about checking ID. I'm 30 and pretty obviously so, and I still get carded. Losing a liquor license isn't worth a little bit of extra business for most places.

    Sure you could try a fake ID, but IDs are a little more sophisticated than they used to be and they get checked a little more closely these days I think.

    When I was underage, the drinking was pretty much confined to house parties and dorm rooms. I didn't drink at a bar until my 21st birthday although I did manage to get served at a restaurant or two using the old "ordering a drink and claiming you forgot your id if they call you on it" maneuver.

  • sedition||

    after growing up in australia and ireland and living in spain for a year when i was 19-20, i came home via the us, and to be honest i considered it a grave insult, firstly to be asked and secondly at 20years of age, to be barred from having a beer at a pub, particulary given the individuality of the spanish mindset.

    there are bigger issues i know but goddamit at the time my thirst was the biggest issue for me.

    lucky the hostel in LA was sympathitic to the needs of the civilised world and provided booze, even if it was like making love in a canoe

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    When our state changed the drinking age, they did it in stages. First they went to 19, then 20 and finally 21. During those years you could see the live music scene at clubs die before your eyes. Kids who had started bands used to move across the state line because we had venues they could play. Bars that presented bands, often a double-bill on a weekend evening, were all over the place. I had friends who were in unsigned bands that got so much work that they were able to avoid taking anything more than a part-time "day job." Once the 21-year age was set, a lot of taverns stopped booking bands. The patrons who were most devoted to going out, paying a cover and dancing their asses off were the college-age crowd. Some places tried to limp along doing all-ages shows, but there were extra expenses and hassles from the cops involved with those. It was a lot easier to play CDs, with or without a DJ, or convert your place into a sports bar.

    I did some underage drinking, but didn't really get into beer and booze until I was a college frosh, and almost legal. I am extremely grateful to a high school pal who had two great attributes: access to a station wagon, and a stomach malady that meant that he couldn't drink alcohol at all. He kept my pals and me from killing ourselves on the highways and byways of Lawn Island more times than we could count, once we sobered up enough to be able to count. Salud!

    Kevin

  • Caroline Jack||

    I probably won't gain any reasonoid fans with this sentiment, but I say lower the drinking age and increase the penalties for driving drunk. In the UK, you can go to prison for drunk driving...in Missouri (where I live), a DUI is easily lawyered down to a nonmoving violation.

    There's a learning curve to drinking, and young bodies are pretty hardy- it takes a good few years, usually, before a young adult has an "I will never drink again" experience complete with humiliating behavior and missing underwear.

    Teenagers WILL drink, no matter what. I think the best we can do is minimize the negative repercussions they might encounter by deterring them from driving drunk.

  • Toady||

    I don't think binge drinking will be solved by lowering the drinking age to 18, 16, or even 9. The problem is a youth culture that thinks 'drinking until you're shit-faced' is a cool thing to do.

    That is what needs correction.

  • Russ 2000||

    When our state changed the drinking age, they did it in stages. First they went to 19, then 20 and finally 21. During those years you could see the live music scene at clubs die before your eyes.

    Same thing's happening today with smoking bans. Talk to any jazz musician that plays gigs to make a living. Their rates are now half what they were two years ago because the demand for their services has been cut in half by smoking bans, while the supply of musicians is roughly the same.

  • Rhywun||

    I probably won't gain any reasonoid fans with this sentiment, but I say lower the drinking age and increase the penalties for driving drunk.

    No argument here. Drunks mow down people and it's considered "an unfortunate accident".

    I don't know how it is where you live but everywhere I go bars are pretty careful about checking ID.

    Everywhere I've lived (east coast, west coast), bars are careful about checking ID--except for young, attractive ladies. Not every bar, of course, but most of your "hook up" bars and clubs operate like this.

  • Hank||

    Rather see POT become legal before the drinking age is lowered.

  • ||

    Talk to any jazz musician that plays gigs to make a living. Their rates are now half what they were two years ago because the demand for their services has been cut in half by smoking bans, while the supply of musicians is roughly the same.

    No, don't talk to those musicians. By admitting that their livelihood is affected by smoking bans, they demonstrate that they're nothing but shills for Big Tobacco, which means nothing they say can be trusted.

  • Teh Rulz||

    "Everywhere I've lived (east coast, west coast), bars are careful about checking ID--except for young, attractive ladies. Not every bar, of course, but most of your "hook up" bars and clubs operate like this."

    Men and Women Over 21. Men Must Prove It

  • Toady||

    Their rates are now half what they were two years ago because the demand for their services has been cut in half by smoking bans, while the supply of musicians is roughly the same.

    That's very interesting, as it would seem to indicate that smokers are more attracted to jazz than non-smokers.

  • ||

    Now that I'm past 65, it's clear to me that the legal drinking age should be raised to 35. The thrill of drinking before the legal age was getting away with buying booze illegally. After reaching 21 the thrill was gone. Look how the few people that still get carded at thirty love the experience.

  • ||

    I agreed with everything right up until the last sentence--"State and local governments are far better at passing laws that reflect the values, morals and habits of their communities."

    State and local governments are just as likely to pass idiotic laws (see 95% of local zoning laws). Every level of government has no business telling adults what they can drink or smoke.

  • yep||

    lower drinking age to 16......raise driving age to 19.......raise legal adulthood to 19(marriage...army....prison)............bars should be mandated to serve peanuts and pretzels or tapas for free...especially bars catering to young people.............kids go ass out and get shit faced at an early age....but tone it down by the the time they are able to drive.............if most students start college at around 18......there will be months to a year before they are able to drive meaning they can adjust to that new environment.......yep.

  • ||

    I grew up in a country w/ an 18yr old drinking age until I was 16, then I moved to the US. The difference I saw? Well when the age was 18, kids drank, when it was 21, they smoked pot, did meth, huffed paint, or what ever else they could find. At least w/ an 18yr old drinking age, there is some control and safety around how kids will choose to get inebriated.

  • the dude||

    The restrictions in place today simply create hype and excitement about drinking. The initial period of drinking is so exciting, it's easy to get caught up in it. This creates more buzz about the consuimtion of alcohol. For many other cultures alcohol is so commonplace that people know their boundaries, whereas in america we don't where and when to stop due to our lack of experience and overexcitment.

  • ||

    God knows how much I hated the age limit when I was under 21. Is it effective? Hell no. Like most things that the gov't attempts to fix thru laws, it doesn't work. I am a firm believer that the government should not tell you what to do.

    But.. who would benefit from lowering the drinking age? The "kids"? Hardly. The liquor companies would get an extra 3 years out of the regular drinking lifespan of the average person. Even if you adjust it for the fact that most kids already drink to some extent between 18 and 21, the overall result is probably still somewhere between an additional 1-2 years of profit out of each unit (er, kid).

    Are you between 18 & 21 in the US and can't drink legally? Take a trip to Europe, Canada, Mexico or Asia and have a legal drink there. And visit a museum while at it.

  • ||

    As an underage teen (17), I can honestly say that the "statistic" that fewer teens my age drink is entirely false. If my area is any indication of what's going on across America, then at least 60-75%, perhaps more, of teens drink to some extent. No matter what the age is set at, teens will get their hands on some form of alcohol and most of the time it will be hard alcohol because it's easier to hide. Tell me, would you rather teens be almost forced to experiment with harder alcohol, or would you rather an 18 year old go out and buy a six pack to drink with a few friends? I'm not saying that hard alcohol won't be consumed, I'm simply saying it wouldn't be as prevalent as it is right now.

    If the safety of America's teens is such a concern, then I suggest lowering the age. Just because alcohol would be easier to obtain doesn't mean there would be a drastic increase in those who drink, you'd just find out about it sooner.

  • ||

    I am 67 years old and an avid church-goer. But I have always hated the Federal age-18 rule as one of the worst intrusions ever made by a weak-minded Congress. My hometown, Washington, DC, held out with 18 until they were forced to give it up.

    A young person can become a buck sergeant in the US Marines before their 21st birthday, an expert licensed to use heavy weapons, yet that sergeant can't take a six-pack to cheer up his proud, shut-in grand-dad on a visit home. Peggy, a college classmate of mine led three choirs and singing groups at 20, but she couldn't buy wine for her choir's after-concert celebration.

    It's a diamond-pure example of mindless meddling, based on emotional appeals and outright lying about the "science."

  • ||

    Why are we stopping at 18? Alcohol is damaging no matter what age you are - 18 is just as arbitrary as 21.

    Going from one stupid arbitrary rule that affects lots of people to another stupid arbitrary rule that effects less people is still pretty stupid. Even so, kudos to everyone who supports this change. It's a start.

  • b||

    I'm 20 years old and don't drink, but I agree wholeheartedly.

    Doesn't equal protection under the laws mean that an adult is an adult? And whose business is it what I do in my own apartment - penalize people for killing other people, not for getting stupid and having a higher risk of MAYBE killing somebody.

  • ||

    18 is as arbitrary as 21 as far as health concerns or drunk driving goes. But it is the current legal age of adulthood in this country and I think most of us here choose it because of the principle that an adult ought to be able to make these sorts of decisions for themselves. Setting the legal age of adulthood at one age and the age for gambling, alcohol, etc. at another is contradictory.

    Even if you believe 18-21 year olds aren't ready to handle certain things, singling out gambling and drinking is kind of odd considering that an 18 year old can drive, marry and have children, join the military and sign contracts. If anything, drinking and gambling ought to be allowed first. The rights and responsibilities you gain at 16 and 18 are much more serious and have much greater potential to fuck up your life and the lives of others.

    Maybe the legal age for everything should be 19 or 20, whatever. But it should be consistent for everything. The problem with raising the adulthood age, though, is that it also means that parents would be legally responsible for their older children. I don't know if you can really expect someone to be responsible for a 20 year old who doesn't want to be told what to do.

  • devolute||

    I think you need to sort out the attitude towards drink driving, before you potentially put more drunks behind the wheel.

  • ||

    It will never happen. Politicians care more about how something looks than how much sense it makes. I'm not sure it should happen unless we change the culture of excess that we raise our kids in. I work with 18-24 year olds and WAY too many of them think drinking means drinking until you're shitfaced. That's not going to change by simply lowering the age. Sorry, but the USA culture just isn't ready for it.

  • Gahan||

    "Oddly enough, high school students in much of the rest of the developed world - where lower drinking ages and laxer enforcement reign - do considerably better than U.S. students on standardized tests."

    This really isn't odd at all; it merely confirms the buffalo theory:

    While alcohol consumption does kill brain cells, it kills the weaker, inferior brain cells that are holding the rest of the brain back, much like when predators eat the weaker, slower buffalo in the herd. While this process may seem cruel, it is in fact necessary for the herd (or brain) as a whole to move faster.

  • ||

    these other developed countries have decent public transportation, and are not as separated by generation as the amerikan TV zombie populace. the kids here still think they are being rebellious with music/fashion, i.e. what passes for ''punk rock'' nowadays. ostrich nation. those with dreadlocks are treated like garbage by one group only: old white people. in Europe, all kinds can go to the same pub. in the U.S.A? no way Jose.

  • ||

    I've always disliked the idea of fragmenting the age of majority. That age is always arbitrary anyway; some people are mature at 14, some are immature at 30. Once drinking is separated from the usual rule that "adulthood begins at 18," the state strips all sorts of other adult rights from 18-year olds. For example, juvenile court jurisdiction in many states continues until age 21. Some states have proposed raising the smoking age to 21. The right to work in bars has been raised in some places to 21. Once the principle is established that one can have different ages of majority for different purposes, the only brakes on the trend are political rights (you can't take the right to vote away from 18 year olds. But, as Article 1 of the constitution permits, you can probably have older age requirements for office holding, jobs in the bureacracy, etc.)

    The problem is, putting people in the position where they are expected to assume all the burdens of adulthood, but cannot assume all its rights, creates a set of exploitable second-class citizens. A clas of people that is forbidden to own certain types of legal property or perform certain types of legally-permissible services but must answer fully to its creditors is simply ripe for the plucking. And plucked it is.

  • ||

    >amerikan

    Kill yourself, please.

  • ||

    Eighteen-year olds can drive, enlist for military service, vote; exempt themselves from all manner of promiscuous taboos. But (gasp!) "drinking"? The real reason for this 21-year old asininity was that the Wife of Dole ("Weezy", The WOD as she was called) is a nanny-State prohibitionist ("temperance" does not do Weezy justice).

    To have let the WOD as Transport Secretary impose her stupid prejudices, tying federal highway handouts to State provisions, was a blot on Reagan's record (he approved a Cabinet-level Veterans Affairs Department too-- tens of billions of ratholed dollars later, we get Walter Reed).

    Congress alone makes Federal law and allocates tax resources. Malfeasant regulatory agencies extorting arbitrary compliance by threatening to withhold monies appropriated for other purposes have no more standing to impose State drinking-ages than to extort tax-funded abortions on pain of withholding Medicaid.

    Why no-one has challenged Weezy and her Carry Nation types reflects the cowardice of politicians preferring to legislate morality by default to Weezy Dole. On the heels of 1971's "Age Suffrage" Amendment, Weezy's backdoor hit reflects very poorly on Reagan, on the Congress, and on our ever-vigilant Judiciary Branch. After all, if drinking-age can be made a prerequisite for receiving Federal transport funds, why cannot some equally arrogant and self-righteous Cabinet Member impose he/she/its
    officious criteria for disbursements in any other area whatever?

  • ||

    The real problem is young people driving under the influence of alcohol. Europeans have a lower drinking age but a relative absence of young drivers. Why not do what Pat Moynihan suggested years ago? Lower the drinking age to 16 or 18 and raise the driving age to 25.

  • ||

    Real intelligent, make the single worst drug in world more readily available and still maintain a prohibition on marijuana? The amount of misery that alchohol has created on this planet far outweighs almost all other drugs combined. Alchohol and tobacco are the true gateway drugs and should be treated as such.

  • ||

    I believe in "old enough to fight and die, old enough to drink". If the drinking age has to be 21, then don't let people into the military until they are 21. Yeah, right. By the time they are 21, they will be less willing to join. Younger people are more impressionable and more likely to be conned by a recruitor. If "maturity" is the reason for raising the drinking age, then maturity should also apply to people signing up for the military. Why chase our kids off to die, if we won't let them drink?

    What bothers me even more is that the terms of "youthful offender status" has not been changed with the increase in the drinking age. People make mistakes when they get drunk. When the drinking age was 18, kids in New York who screwed up while drunk (breaking into places, damaging property, etc) had a chance to learn from their lessons without being treated as adult criminals. Many of them learned, grew up, and now lead successful lives. (I am one of them.) Kids had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Now they wait until they are 21, get drunk, screw up, and land in prison or probation with a permanent record that haunts them for the rest of their lives. The ones who go to prison get screwed up even more, and sometimes end up going back to prison again. If you want to keep the drinking age set to 21, increase eligibility for youthful offender status to 23 to give these people a chance to learn how to behave while under the influence.

    I should point out that I am 40-something. I've seen the good and the bad. Raising the drinking age to 21 has not been the panacea people thought it would be. We need to think everything through completely, not just jump on a bandwagon. And those kooks who say raising the drinking age reduced the number of drinking-related accidents...um...hello? The law cracked down on all kinds of drunk driving at the same time. There is no proof at all to indicate that raising the drinking age alone contributed to the decline in drinking-related accidents.

    Maybe my opinions are not popular, but I'm not one of the "sheep". I am considerably intelligent and try to look at things from every possible angle. The points I mentioned are often overlooked, and I expect the "sheep" to continue to overlook them. I have one thing to say to the sheep, though: your son, daughter, or grandchild could very well get caught up in this mess. You are not immune, no matter how much you try. If you like to say "lock them up", what will you say when one of your own gets locked up?

  • ||

    Everyone who has the right to vote should be able to drink in order to make a clearer choice...:) seriously, i'm from quebec and 18 years old is fine for drinking age. Be aware of the increase in car accidents for that age group though...

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