Jim Camblos, the Republican incumbent Commonwealth's Attorney for Albemarle County in Virginia, lost his bid for re-election on Tuesday. Camblos despicably prosecuted parents for serving beer and wine to minors at their son's 16th birthday party. Originally, both parents were sentenced to 8 years in jail for the offense. Their sentences were later reduced to 27 months and they are now serving time.
When the police broke up the party on an anonymous tip, they found that seven of the partygoers had no alcohol in their systems and the remaining nine were below the legal limit for intoxication. By the way, the parents had insured that none of the partygoers were driving that evening.
Now here's where I'm supposed to kowtow to the moral bullies and signal my agreement that underage drinking is some kind of horrible offense. Well, forget it. I'm not recommending excessive drinking (though I confess to doing it, shall we just say, on more than one occasion) for anybody. However, the United States is the only country that imposes alcohol prohibition on people until age 21. Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, among others, put that limit at age 16 and they don't seem to be falling apart as societies. I think it's high time to lower the U.S. drinking age.
In any case, Camblos' attempt at moral grandstanding turned out to be bad politics. Good riddance to him.
Disclosure: My wife and I live in the county seat of Albemarle County, Charlottesville, Va. Unfortunately, Charlottesville residents do not vote in Albemarle County elections, so I can't claim any credit for Camblos' ouster.