I'll Drink To That!

It looks like New Jersey is actually pushing through good legislation. A bill, now heading to the state senate, would grant immunity to anyone under 21 "who has been drinking if that person calls police when another teen drinks too much and needs medical help."

Bonus language: immunity for the poor punks who can't handle their liquor, too.  

The legislation is a positive step toward, what the Amethyst Initiative calls, "an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21-year-old drinking age."

Senior Editor Radley Balko covered the initial Amethyst Initiative story. Contributor Ted Galen Carpenter praised the two poster children of ending the MLDA21. Last year, Steve Chapman wrote about the perils of a lower drinking age. Prohibition Propaganda here. Jacub Sullum on zero tolerance and the "underage drinking epidemic," here.

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  • ||

    Why would you even mention that piece of shit Chapman article? Seriously, just pretend it never happened.

  • ||

    And if the cops show up, will they search the kids and bust them if they find a joint?


    -jcr

  • ||

    "Jacub" Sullum, Fonz?

    Alcohol is like sex: a lot of older people cannot stand the idea of young people getting up to typical young people shenanigans. They may dress it up in "it's for the children" camouflage, but damn if they aren't jealous. In their minds, those damn kids today are having more fun, sex, alcohol, drugs, and whatever else kids get up to these days, such as those new-fangled video games and the e-Pods or whatever they're called.

    The adults can drink now, why the hell would they make it easier for those disrespectful, punk kids?

  • Tomcat1066||

    I'm a parent. I mention this to put this next part into the correct context.

    If the worst thing a kid does is get drunk or stoned, then we could do far, far worse.

  • ||

    Amen, Tomcat1066, same goes for the grandchildren.

    Been there, done that.

  • ||

    So if you see the cops coming to crash a party, call 911 quickly to ask for medical help.

  • ||

    If all alcohol and drugs were legal, maybe parents would be forced to be better at parenting. People rely too much on police and laws to make kids behave. Like the assholes that call the cops when their 13 year old won't clean his room or take out the trash. You should hear some of these 911 calls.

  • ||

    i read about this in the The Record this morning. it sounds reasonable, but I'd like to see a similar 'amnesty' for drug overdoses as well.
    a friend was busted for possession (of pot) when he found his roommate unconscious (heroin OD) and called 911. fortunately it was a first offense and he got off with a year of probation, but the poor bastard who OD'd woke up handcuffed to his hospital bed and spent a few months in county lockup afterward.

  • 24AheadDotCom: true libertaria||

    What Jeff Winkler doesn't note is that that "medical help" will most likely be a government organization. What we libertarians should be doing is dismantling things like that and encouraging the development of a private system. Also, why isn't Reason pushing for the abolition of all alcohol laws? What kinds of libertarians are they, anyway? Shouldn't anyone be able to drink as little or as much as they want no matter their age?

    What have we libertarians become?

  • T||

    Also, why isn't Reason pushing for the abolition of all alcohol laws? What kinds of libertarians are they, anyway? Shouldn't anyone be able to drink as little or as much as they want no matter their age?

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the failure of libertarians in politics. This is why we can't have nice things.

  • Tomcat1066||

    I suspect the thinking is that a law like this is a move in the right direction. We didn't lose our rights overnight. We won't get them back overnight either. Applaud the bills that move the right direction, but don't be satisfied with anything short of the desired end result.

  • anon||

    the number of 911 calls is going to skyrocket as underage drinkers vie for imunity

  • ||

    Lone Wacko stood in front of the door and glanced around, making sure the coast was clear. He pulled out his worn lockpicking equipment, made from street cleaner bristles, his old nail clippings, and superglue.

    He worked the lock like he would work an aged hooker, but couldn't get the tumblers lined up. He had to get in there--that's where Hugh Jazz had told him to go for a clue regarding David Weigel's ties to Vincente Fox and Salma Hayek. He could practically smell the cumin, and though it turned his stomach, he was quivering with anticipation that this might be the break he needed in this case.

  • Elemenope||

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the failure of libertarians in politics. This is why we can't have nice things.

    Another victim of the LoneWacko. You take that fucker seriously at your own intellectual peril.

  • Elemenope||

    I'm pretty sure if Weigel had "ties" to Selma Hayek, he would have bragged about them by now. With pictures.

  • T||

    Another victim of the LoneWacko. You take that fucker seriously at your own intellectual peril.

    Oh, is that his new handle? I don't keep up. The point still stands, though.

  • ||

    Not sure I understand why an "amnesty" is even necessary for "anyone under 21 who has been drinking..."

    As far as I know, the laws all deal with possession, sale to minors, etc.

    I'm not aware of any law which specifically prohibits the actual consumption of alcohol (or drugs for that matter).

  • ||

    Russ R.,

    I think it's realistic to expect that where there are underage drinkers, there is also evidence of possession of alcohol. If nothing else, a medical crisis in the middle of a party could be handled under amnesty without having to drag a drunk kid out to the front lawn or across the street.

    And, of course, the anecdotal evidence of drunk kids being arrested because they are possessing alcohol... in their bodies.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Note that Salma Hayek, a known Mexican, has the same last name as Friedrich Hayek, a known libertarian economist. Coincidence? I think not.

  • ||

    What Jeff Winkler doesn't note is that that "medical help" will most likely be a government organization.

    Will it really Lonewacko? I mean, you've researched this and can provide links indicating what percentage of the population is served by government-run hospitals and EMS organizations, right?

    Epi: Nice little narrative there. Heh.

  • Abdul||

    So, do you get immunity if you draw a big swanz on your drunk friend's face with a sharpie?

  • ||

    Not sure I understand why an "amnesty" is even necessary for "anyone under 21 who has been drinking..."

    I had the same question, although I suppose it could be immunity from charges for supplying alcohol to a minor, being drunk in public, etc.

  • ||

    Tonio, if you liked that, you might want to go read this. It's a group effort.

  • ||

    No matter how many times the nannystaters explain it, I can't wrap my head around locking someone in a room for ingesting a substance.

  • ||

    What have we libertarians become?



    LoneWacko: You keep using that word "we". I don't think it means what you think it means.

  • Tomcat1066||

    No matter how many times the nannystaters explain it, I can't wrap my head around locking someone in a room for ingesting a substance.

    It's simple. Nannystaters know more than you, and therefore have to make decisions that are in your best interests, even if you don't want them to.

    Alcohol, in particular, metabolizes into cyanide in 81% of all humans under the age of 21, hence our drinking laws. Obviously, all of you who drank in high school are among the 19% who are immune to this terrible affliction that kills millions of teens each day. Were it not for the nanny state, we would be extinct within a generation!





    Or something like that ;)

  • jtuf||

    New Jersey is also considering legalizing medical marijuana. Small steps add up to big change.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Ironically, as I opened up Reason today I was leaning back in my chair and, as an irresponsible child of 20, drinking a beer after my last final until Friday.

  • ||

    omg, Tomcat1066! Is that ture!??!?!??

    Somebody should do somthnig!

  • Tomcat1066||

    heartnaomi: Absolutely...and...um....if you elect me...um...I'll do some...um...stuff...and...uh...make the evil alcohol corporations pay for the evil they've done! Um...yeah! ;)

  • Abra Cadaver||

    "New Jersey is also considering legalizing medical marijuana. Small steps add up to big change."

    Minnesota too.

  • ||

    how do I know your not justa spy send from big alcohol toy try to crrupt my brane?

    srsly, those piriods freek me out...............................................................

  • ||

    im gessin that i shouldnt stop doing so many shots at lunch, like fer reals im a mess

  • Tomcat1066||

    ..........................I'm..........................not...............................a..........................spy.

    I................................promise.......................seriously....................OK? ;)

  • ||

    I think HAL is dying.

  • ||

    """I'm not aware of any law which specifically prohibits the actual consumption of alcohol (or drugs for that matter)."""

    The charge is "minor in possession", minors get busted on it frequently. And depending on the state, possession can mean in your bloodstream. Or being drunk in public as R C Dean points out.

  • Kyle||

    In Minnesota, the charge is minor consumption of alcohol. This means that when an underage party is busted, the party-goers are given pbt test, and any trace amount detected is probable cause for a tab charged petty.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...a friend was busted for possession (of pot) when he found his roommate unconscious (heroin OD) and called 911.



    If you ever find yourself in this situation, tell the 911 operator that your friend is "unresponsive" without mentioning drugs over the phone. EMS, if they're competent, will be prepared for the contingency that it's an overdose. When they get there - hopefully without cops - you can let them know 'I think he might have done heroin' or whatever.

    You might also want to add that your friend in the hall or just outside your front door is unresponsive. While they're on their way, drag your friend outside (this is assuming you're going to stay with them, or you know it's a safe place). If the cops do show up, there's much less of an argument for searching if it can't be proven the drug user was inside the house.

  • ||

    If the cops do show up, there's much less of an argument for searching if it can't be proven the drug user was inside the house.

    When did the cops start caring about probable cause or not lying on their affidavits?

  • Dave||

    "who has been drinking if that person calls police when another teen drinks too much and needs medical help."

    Anybody want to place a bet that if a prosecutor stumbles across a case in which the person needing help is exactly twenty years old, he'll declare that the victim is "not a teen" and press charges? I'll make the book.

  • BakedPenguin||

    When did the cops start caring about probable cause or not lying on their affidavits?



    If you've mentioned the location of the victim on the 911 call, they will be that much less credible. If the location is conveyed to them prior to their arrival, they might be dissuaded from trying shit to begin with.

    Or they might still go all Philly bodega on you. But I can't think of any reason not to try.

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