Streams

Drinking Age Debate

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You can vote, gamble, drive, go off to war at age 18, but you can't legally have a drink in the U.S. 114 college presidents are trying to reopen the debate about the drinking age, and to explain both sides are Laura Dean-Mooney, President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and John McCardell, founder of Choose Responsibility and former president of Middlebury College in Vermont.

Guests:

Laura Dean-Mooney and John McCardell

Comments [71]

Kyle from WA

As a rebuttal to the comment from DrugFreeHighland the reason binge drinking is becoming a problem is because of Americanization. AKA the spreading of the American culture. Many people in other countries idolize American life (why i have no idea but that's another subject) As an example my English teacher (who is from the UK)Asked his little nephew (around 7) what he wanted to be when he grew up. The little Brit quickly and excitedly responded " I want to be American." When he was asked what that entailed he said that he would "Live in Orange County, Drive a big SUV and get drunk all the time." All things portrayed on exported American TV shows.

Jan. 08 2009 09:00 PM
Kyle from WA

Maybe the drinking age should be lowered but no lower than 18. This is because up until about 18 the brain is still developing and alcohol can hamper that growth.

As to those complaining about how high our drinking ages are compared to those in Europe, there's a reason for that. Th two drinking cultures are completely different. For instance in most European countries the culture is to drink but never to the point of getting drunk, in fact you may be considered a disgrace to your family for doing so. On the other hand in the US it is common practice to become intoxicated. Thats why they're different.

Jan. 08 2009 08:42 PM
laya from nyc

as a parent i feel like teens shouldn't have to hide to drink. It would make me feel better if the age was lowered to 18 because teens drink way before 21 and if they can be in a club or a bar and drink i feel like they would at least have responsible people that can watch them. This can also lower some of the crime rate. 18 - 20 year old should not have to feel like they are breaking laws to drink. especially 20 year olds there is not a 20-teen so i feel if they don't lower the age to 18 at least lower it to 20 cause it is not fair!!!!

Aug. 26 2008 11:21 PM
DrugFreeHighlands from Sebring, FL

I think it would be prudent to look at the facts world wide on this problem. Many of our teens are saying there is no drinking age in Europe and they don't have this problem. Sorry, that is a myth: Binge Britain: Now under-21s face ban on buying alcohol

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1036029/Binge-Britain-Now-21s-face-ban-buying-alcohol.html

Emerging research suggests that different portions of the brain (the brain is still developing until the age of 21 and for some as late as 25) and its neurotransmitter systems are affected negatively by alcohol with both short and long term consequences. These impacts range from damage to the brain centers for thinking, planning and learning, to changes in the structures of the brain that mediate pleasure and predispose youth to depression, addiction or alcoholism later on.

This has become a world wide problem (binge drinking and alcoholism) WHO is to develop a global strategy on alcohol. On 24 May 2008, the 61st session of the World Health Assembly adopted an important resolution on "Strategies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol". This resolution calls for the development by 2010 of a draft global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.

http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/expert_committee_alcohol_trs944.pdf

Aug. 21 2008 09:37 PM
Ed from Central NJ

I was 18 years old in the year 1978, just ahead of the raising of the drinking age. I can remember going to clubs and seeing local bands. Some of those bands went on to become world famous. New Jersey was a great place for bands! It was a fun place to be for an 18 year old! As the drinking age was raised, the venues for those bands started to disappear. The music industry in New Jersey was destroyed.

MADD and other like-minded groups like to claim that it was increasing the drinking age to 21 that has saved so many lives. It is hard to argue with the numbers. And I do remember seeing many drunk drivers on the road shortly after those nightclubs closed for the night back in the 70’s and 80’s.

I happen to think that it has been the strict enforcement of the laws, and educating those who choose to drink, to drink responsibly that was responsible for the decrease in drinking related fatalities. Designated Driver was a term that did not exist in 1978.

MADD’s heart was in the right place, but I have never agreed with their thesis that 18 to 21 year old adults are not capable of drinking responsibly.

Aug. 21 2008 09:03 PM
ileen from upper west side

#12 Eleni - not quite if you were in New York State. When I was 17, the drinking age in NY went from 18 to 19 (1983). When I was 20 it went up to 21 (1986). Thank god for the old Times Square and Playland, home of the fake ID factory. Since I was mostly without a car in college, driving irresponsibly was not an issue for me. However it was an issue for my father who was killed at the age of 60 by a 17 year old driver who was not drinking.

Make it harder to get a driver's license and punish those who kill with their cars, regardless of their blood alcohol level.

Aug. 20 2008 06:17 PM
Steve from Clifton NJ

Lower the drinking age ...but for heavens sake...please raise the driving age!!!!

Aug. 20 2008 05:38 PM
Steve from Clifton NJ

Lower the drinking age...but...

Aug. 20 2008 05:36 PM
hjs from 11211

Cynthia

noted,
also no nerve hit and nothing personal was posted.

i've only been to the PR airport so i don't know if sally was right or wrong on her points.
have u ever tuned to WBAI?

Aug. 20 2008 01:38 PM
Phillipe from Brooklyn

It's not about age...it's about creating an environment of fascination with drinking and turning it into the "forbidden elixir" by raising the drinking age to 21. All young people are drawn to the forbidden out of curiosity. We also have to look at the fun portrayed in all the advertising by beer companies..which young and hot bloodied teenager/young person would not want a part of that? I would be curious about the traffic accident records and binge drinking in countries like India where alcohol companies are not allowed to "advertise" on TV but are instead advertising by sponsoring sports and other events...one company even runs an airline...Kingfisher Airways. But since we worship the mighty dollar and there is too much money at stake for Madison Avenue and others who make their living selling irresponsible drinking, we will gladly keep the mystery going and sacrifice young people and our own mothers for billions from Uncle Bud!

It absolutely makes no sense to be able to marry, buy a gun in certain states, and die for your country at 18 and then be told you can't come home from war and buy a drink to drown your sorrows like any responsible adult until you are 21. What a mind fuck!!

Aug. 20 2008 12:34 PM
Cynthia from NYC

"hjs" what ever that means, since you cannot exact

a better response you make it personal, sad, and

pathetic, take it as a lesson.

It seems that I touched a nerve...do you feel hurt ?

sniff sniff

Aug. 20 2008 12:27 PM
David from Montclair

Let’s lighten up and give our YOUNG ADULTS a choice.

Give a seventeen-year-old the choice whether to be licensed to drink OR drive upon reaching 18, their choice. Provide contemporaneous drinking and driving education at high school, an examination, and a learner’s permit to either drink OR drive with a parent at the age of 17. At 18, grant first-time drinkers and drivers a provisional license that permits one year of drinking OR driving, but only until midnight. At 19, grant a provisional license to do both. At 20, license them as adults.

If young adults want to engage in adult activity, let them make choices under parental supervision and do the training.

Aug. 20 2008 12:27 PM
Susan from Manhattan

leave it up to the students parents; take away their kids credit cards and then they can't buy booze, because you know none of the binge drinking type can hold down a job and buy booze for themselves.

Aug. 20 2008 12:26 PM
snoop from Brooklyn

Cynthia, you seem to be the only one turning an age discussion into a racial one. I don't presume anyone's race, nor do I think it's really relevant to a discussion on the drinking age. Perhaps you could explain clearly why race is relavent?

Aug. 20 2008 12:23 PM
hjs from 11211

Cynthia,
with such psychic powers u would think POC would be better off. sigh

Aug. 20 2008 12:21 PM
Alice O'Hara from Briarwood, Queens

First, it's a false argument to say that if you can die for our country at age 18, you should be able to drink. Perhaps this argument points to the fact that 18 year old CHILDREN should not be allowed to enlist. It's the legal age for enlisting that should be changed, enlist at age 21. Second, to compare the drinking habits of U.S. citizens to other countries is an error, also. In comparison to other countries, our culture encourages excess. Countries like France or Italy have an entirely different approach to drinking. A glass of wine is served with dinner but this kind of drinking is different and children learn how to drink with moderation. Don't change the U.S. drinking age until our wild crazy culture gets reined in!

Aug. 20 2008 12:20 PM
hjs from 11211

states rights GOP pushes more federal control of the states

Aug. 20 2008 12:16 PM
Cynthia from NYC

That question is hilarious in it's inception, only a white person would ask such a question, hence how Insular you and they are, when you are raised in this country you learn how different the thought streams are between the privilege class and the oppressed class.

Aug. 20 2008 12:14 PM
John DuQuette from lower east side

Why doesn't anyone ever suggest that the legal age of combat service be raised to 21? Most people who have ever been 18 will tell you that they were a "kid" at the time -- just as we all hear "our kids are dying in Iraq/Afghanistan."

Why are the advocates for a 21 year old drinking age NOT clamoring for a 21 year old minimum age for military service?
As the NIMH study (http://www.edinformatics.com/news/teenage_brains.htm) indicates, the "decision making" areas of the teenage brain are still developing from 18-21 years.

When we have 18-21 year old American dead, wounded and "combat veterans" produced in Iraq/Afghanistan -- are these our "heros" or are they our victims of state sponsored child abuse?

With a 21 year old age minimum for military service, we would have a military staffed with adults, not children.

Aug. 20 2008 12:13 PM
Brian from Staten Island

When asked about the 20 year old veteran who can go to war but who cannot drink legally, Laura Dean-Mooney spoke as if a single beer would result in immediate death.

MADD has become a group of prohibitionist fanatics and, like other fanatics, they use emotionalism to bludgeon all attempts at dialogue and reason. They should be ignored.

Aug. 20 2008 12:11 PM
KC from NYC

If drunk driving is the only tenable issue (questionable, but at least you can see SOME logic there), why can't states decide their own drinking ages, the way they did before Reagan, Elizabeth Dole, and a 5-4 Supreme Court decision legalized this federal mandate?

In a state that has little or no public transportation, voters may approve a high drinking age; in a state like New York, it could go back to its pre-1984 status. A one-size-fits-all pseudo-law for a nation of 300 million people is ludicrous.

Aug. 20 2008 12:11 PM
Carol from Chatham, NJ

I used to say that if you can fight, you should be able to drink, but my children's middle school principal changed my thinking: why should we send under-21 year olds into battle?

Brain development does continue into the early 20s. More studying of the subject is imperative. Science including social science should prevail.

It's tough to limit drinking by young people when drinking alcohol permeates our culture. Drinking is just too cool. Try to refuse a drink and people look at you like you have two heads. Also, how much do we really know about cultures that permit or encourage drinking without regard to age? What is the incidence of alcoholism and the fractured lives that result from "under-age" drinking? We are fighting billions of ad dollars in swaying public opinion against under-age drinking.

The discussion does not end here.

Aug. 20 2008 12:10 PM
piminnowcheez

Oh, and: It's *true* that alcohol is worse for developing brains than for adult ones. But this is exactly why relying on legal restrictions to limit alcohol intake in minors is such a bad strategy - laws with high enforcement costs and low public support will never be able to touch cultural practices in shaping human behavior. Once the kids are out of the direct supervision of their parents, expecting legal enforcement to control the market for a highly valued commodity, short of gestapo tactics, is unrealistic. All you've got to do is look at the drug war for proof - shall we bring ATF SWATT teams to college campuses?

Cigarette addiction didn't seriously decline until much more than age-related restrictions were brought to bear on the problem - it took a cultural change, which is what we need w/respect to alcohol use, and which 2 extra years of legal prohibitions isn't going to help.

Aug. 20 2008 12:09 PM
hjs from 11211

Cynthia and how do u know who is white?

Aug. 20 2008 12:06 PM
Roger S from NYC

Why make A young person's first legal experience with alcohol at a time when they are away from the home and the parental influence that potentially provides? Doesn't responsibility begin in the home?

And yes, I realize every home is not a paragon of responsibility, but is delaying the experience until approximately their sophomore year of college making them more responsible?

Aug. 20 2008 12:05 PM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

Why is this an issue? Of all the things that are going on this country, inflation, recession, an illegal and horrible war, etc., etc. why is all this energy being spent on lowering the drinking age? If a twenty year old wants to get a drink, believe me, he or she will be able to get one.
Maybe it's because I'm not a drinker at all but I don't see the priority of allowing a drug to be more easily obtained by a certain age of citizen.
Maybe I'm being paranoid but it seems that the adage of "follow the money" needs to be looked at more closely concerning this "issue".

Aug. 20 2008 12:04 PM
Joseph from NY

I think we are right to look towards other countries. The problem isn't one of consumption, for youth or adults, but rather socialization. We haven't shed our puritanical beginnings, and this extends to our attitudes towards drinking. In many parts of Europe where I've visited or lived (Germany, Italy; The UK is a different story) young people are accustomed to drinking wine or beer with meals. Though we may have had a few beers or shots at the bar at night, even the high school age students drinking rarely drank to become intoxicated. McCardell made this point and was ignored. No one wants more students binge drinking or driving while intoxicated. The point is that there are more effective ways to socialize people into drinking responsibility than making alcohol into forbidden fruit.

Aug. 20 2008 12:04 PM
Yolanda from Park Slope

It's so interesting that as far as I know no one ever suggests that raising the driving age might reduce the number of teenage traffic fatalities considerably. Shouldn't MADD address that part of the equation rather than focus on the unrealistic age limit at which an adult person can sip a glass of wine?

Aug. 20 2008 12:04 PM
Cynthia from NYC

The statements are pure racist ranting and stereotyping by white people who love to degrade people of color any one who advocates and supports those points of views are just small minded and typical!!!

Aug. 20 2008 12:01 PM
piminnowcheez

So, Ms. Mooney (sp?) appears to be making an end-justifies-the-means argument. She's got the peer-reviewed studies to prove that 21-year drinking age saves lives, okay. What kind of legal restrictions *couldn't* be justified this way, in her view?

I need to hear someone justify allowing legal adults the right to vote, marry, reproduce, die in military service, and buy cigarettes, and yet not drink alcohol, a drug which is legally available to the rest of adult society? There are lots of ways we could discriminate against subgroups among us that would effectively increase public safety, but we don't seriously consider them because all Americans are supposed to be EQUAL under the law.

All I hear in these drunk-driving based arguments is rationale for reforming the driving laws, not the drinking ones.

Aug. 20 2008 12:01 PM
Suzanne from Brooklyn

I also grew up in Europe. There was little allure about binge drinking, etc., because alcohol was never forbidden. The result? By the time any of us were old enough to drive, responsibility regarding alcohol was inculcated. None of my high school classmates or university classmates ever drove drunk. And binge drinking was almost unknown.

The more forbidden alcohol is, the more alluring it becomes and the more people overdo it -- it is the defiance of the law. only in North America do I see college kids overdo the drinking. When drinking vs socializing becomes the focus & even the purpose of the gatherings, that's when the danger exists, IMO.

Aug. 20 2008 11:59 AM
John Eischeid from New York

Perhaps the debate should be about drinking responsibly, rather than about when to start.

Aug. 20 2008 11:59 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Man this woman is nuts... I guess drinking through college and grad school shrank my brain!!!

#26. Good point. Check out H.R. 5843, the Act to Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults and write your congressperson to support it.

Aug. 20 2008 11:59 AM
jc from east village

America needs to get with the rest of the world regarding lots of issues: drinking age, death penalty, undeclared wars, etc.
I agree that the drinking age should be lowered. The culture and law of drinking needs to change so that it's not a glamorous target for risk-taking behavior.

The representative from MADD is painting a caricature of college students as being frivolous, wealthy, and stupid. She's quite insulting.

Aug. 20 2008 11:58 AM
hjs from 11211

Cynthia is sally right or wrong??

Aug. 20 2008 11:58 AM
Aaron from brooklyn

It's would also be safer to make drinking illegal for every age. Or to make driving cars illegal. But that doesn't mean it makes sense.

Aug. 20 2008 11:58 AM
rick from brooklyn

MADD conflates drunk driving with drinking- they are not the same thing. also, the idea that those under 21 that are not at 4 year colleges don't drink is totally absurd!

People under 21 are going to drink- it has always been so. does the woman from MADD think that at some point people under 21 are going to STOP drinking??

Aug. 20 2008 11:58 AM
Michael from Manhattan

this woman seems to think that ther eis no midpoint between responsible drinking and going out of your mind. It's ridiculous. Responsibility should be taught. Americans obviously are immature and bad parents that cant teach responsibility to their children, and MAD seems to be bent on proving this.

Aug. 20 2008 11:58 AM
Mike from Manhattan

Military veterans should have the right to drink, they have earned that at the very least.

Aug. 20 2008 11:56 AM
snoop from Brooklyn

If alcohol is too dangerous for some adults, then it should be illegal for all adults. So how about prohibition?

Aug. 20 2008 11:56 AM
Juliana Roberts from Plainview, NY

It is a public health issue. It is healthier for our college kids to learn how to drink responsibly while home with their parents and under their care. Look at the health of other teens and 20 something in other countries- do they have binge drinking problems? No! Our young people will be healthier and live longer if they understand that drinking to intoxication is not how liquor has to be enjoyed. On a civil rights issue, it is ridiculous that you can get married at 18 or younger in some states, have sex, vote and die to protect this country before you can drink to it!

Aug. 20 2008 11:56 AM
KC from NYC

No, Laura. Highway accident fatalities went down not because of this law, but because of any number of reasons, including better car safety and the increased use of seat belts.

And the AMA research she refers to has been disproved numerous times.

Aug. 20 2008 11:56 AM
DC from Washington DC

How come MAAD doesn't promote mass transit instead of trying to demonize alcohol. Take some licenses away from drunk drivers already. I was hit by a drunk driver and he was 52 years old drinking at 11 in the morning. He had a history of drinking and driving and still had insurance. Promote mass transit and we wouldn't have to worry so much about DUI.

Aug. 20 2008 11:56 AM
Cynthia from NYC

Sally Forth, #17

That is the most bigoted statement I have ever read on these postings I am surprised that WNYC would let such a racist statement be posted!!!

WNYC stands for White New York City!!!

Bigots bigots bigots....

Aug. 20 2008 11:55 AM
leif parsons

Canada seems to be doing ok with 18 /19...

Aug. 20 2008 11:55 AM
hunter from LES

if we are going to change laws that are arbitrary, why dont we talk about the prohibition of marijuana ?!

Aug. 20 2008 11:55 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Again, MADD... transportation is NOT the issue here.

Aug. 20 2008 11:55 AM
Jen from Brooklyn

Along with lowering the drinking age, which I (a college professor) am in favor of, we need to demystify alcohol consumption and teach responsible drinking. (as they do in many European countries)

Aug. 20 2008 11:54 AM
Zach from Upper West Side

I went to school in Montreal, Canada for college, and the drinking age there was 18. There was certainly a lot of drinking and hangovers, but compared with my friends in American schools, there didn't seem to be the same culture of extreme binge drinking. It might also have to do with the fact that they don't sell kegs in Quebec, but since we could go to bars, we did our drinking there where its more expensive and there is less of a chance of doing drinking games where you get smashed. I think if you treat people like adults they will have to act a bit more like adults. With the drinking age 21, you just drive drinking underground where it is not seen. At least a bartender can cut you off.

Aug. 20 2008 11:52 AM
J.C. from Minneapolis

No, 21 does NOT work!

There's a book out there called "Binge" that points out the faulty analysis of highway statistics that are commonly used (and I see them used already on this comments page) to justify the ridiculous drinking age in this country. It's too bad we all just assume that the drinking age is linked to highway deaths without realizing that that might not be true. Groups like M.A.D.D. should concentrate instead on tougher penalties for drunk driving instead of pushing this unenforceable and unrealistic 21-year-drinking age obsession.

In any event, 21 is a joke. I drank before I turned 21, so did a lot of people in college, and I don't consider any one of us to be criminals, immoral, or whatever. I've been to Europe. They can drink at 18 (sometimes younger). So can Canadians. They survive, so can we.

People are going to drink. Get over it.

Aug. 20 2008 11:52 AM
Betty Anne from UES

Brian can you ask them if they think this is a "wedge" issue? It seems like this is gonna be an election deal... A stupid one at that.

Aug. 20 2008 11:52 AM
Phoebe from NJ

MADD have set themselves up as untouchable, but their focus is NOT on reducing drunk-driving; it's prohibition.

Aug. 20 2008 11:51 AM
Glenn from Manhattan

The prefrontal cortex which controls impulsive behavior is not usually fully formed until 21 or older. having more difficult access to vice reduces its prevalence. In fact younger kids make 'better' soldiers because they take more risks in battle.

Aug. 20 2008 11:51 AM
Marco from Manhattan

If you can vote and fight for your country you should be able to drink. God, I hate the nanny state.

Aug. 20 2008 11:51 AM
Sally Forth from Soho

Puerto Rico!?!?!?!?

Uh have you been there? They do not have the vast highway system we do.

Puerto Rico has a 60% rate of poverty, people don't do very much there (i.e. work).

Aug. 20 2008 11:51 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Great idea... I grew up in Europe, and find the prudishness around drinking in the US to be laughable. How about some more licenses in NJ, too, and reform of the ridiculous laws restricting alcohol sales in stores and on Sunday?

Drinking and driving is a different issue, and not related to the age that alcohol becomes legal.

Aug. 20 2008 11:50 AM
Sally Forth from Soho

I agree about the legal driving age. I just think with our vast highway system and culture it's really hard.

I don't see how any of this will change binge drinking. Most of my friends over 21 still do.

Aug. 20 2008 11:49 AM
Michael from Manhattan

lets just infanticize young adults to the point of the ridiculous. Make the Drinking age 52. If your daughters cant drink then its because you are a bad father. If you cant trust your grown daughters then you are the father of bad children. If you can die for your country (and we have many 19 years olds in Iraq that are dead without ever having had a chance to be treated as a true adult) then you should haev all the rights and priviliges of the society you are dieing for. Actually, we should make it a law that NO ONE under 26 be put into harms way in the military, unless the nation is under attack on our own soil. Give them a chance to live before they are asked to die.

Aug. 20 2008 11:16 AM
KC from NYC

I think the 21 drinking age is unconscionable. It's also totally inconsistent with the rest of the world, where the drinking age for wine and beer is often 16 (18 for hard liquor).

It's also important to note that the US does not actually have a federal drinking age; 21 is mandated in states' laws through the threatened withholding of federal highway funds. When the debate is put in moralistic terms, that's just foolishness.

See also: http://www.youthrights.org/

Aug. 20 2008 11:08 AM
Eleni from NYC

I am all for consistency. I remember when the drinking age was 18 unfortunately when I turned 18 it was changed to 21. As it turns out it really didn't matter since I don't like drinking anyway, well except for a glass of wine or 1 beer I used to nurse all night. Now I'm 40 and it still doesn't matter and the stats won't change either. My fear is that we will get more of the bridge and tunnel teens and college kids getting drunk here instead of staying home to do that. This will impact our on our tourism, which at this point is keeping all of us and the welfare of NYC from becoming completely bankrupt.

Aug. 20 2008 11:06 AM
snoop from Brooklyn

I figure that most people from their late 30s on down (in age) spent a good amount of time circumventing the 21 year old drinking age while in college. I know I certainly did. Fake IDs, comparing policies on providing IDs in different store, going to wild parties off campus... all were part of the drinking strategy.

The funny thing was, when I finally turned 21, the thrill of going out and drinking was gone. In my senior year, I no longer felt obligated to go out and drink too much. I know it sounds trite, but it was the rebellion I loved, not the alcohol.

So, how to deal with it? Make it just another adult activity. And make it easier for young people to learn about alcohol in a safe environment... laws that don't allow children to have alcohol from their parents, whether in restaurants or at home, need to be changed.

Aug. 20 2008 11:06 AM
Howard from Brooklyn

Only for soldiers. When I was 18 the Vietnam was was still going on and you could be drafted. So it made sense then, but as an "adult" now ( 52 ) with three teenage daughters I dont think that 18 old enough. Even 21 seems too young, now that i "know" better. Maybe 23 or above.

Aug. 20 2008 11:06 AM
O from Forest Hills

If you want to change things, be for something not against it, it should be Mothers for Responsible Driving and Sobriety.

I do think the drinking age should even be 16 not 18. Everyone went to the proms and go smashed afterwards. I don't drink myself so it is not an issue for me, but the people whom want to drink, let them. Just take away their keys.

Aug. 20 2008 11:02 AM
hjs from 11211


would teens trade a driving license for early drinking privilege?

Aug. 20 2008 11:02 AM
Marry from NYC

As I understand the argument,since the age restriction has been enacted, about 25,000 lives have been saved every year on the road.

The only people harmed are the underage drinkers them selves, due to excessive drinking,

In the past both innocent people on the road and the underage drinkers were harmed, now it's only the underage drinkers!

Reversal of this policy would again harm both!

Going forward, Education for underage drinkers seem to be the best policy.

Aug. 20 2008 11:02 AM
Bee from Hoboken, NJ

I think we should lower the drinking age, and raise the driving age, thus you learn to drink before you learn to drive.

Aug. 20 2008 11:00 AM
Curt from River Vale, NJ

The arguments I have heard about this issue do make some sense. However, when the drinking age was 18 (I'm 49) I don't think we handled it very well. Over the years, I have noticed this especially in the state parks, which now have much less littering of beer and other alchoholic beverage containers which seems to correlate 1:1 to the drinking age! Perhaps today's children are more responsible? I think not, but maybe its worth another trial period. If they lower the drinking age, why not decriminalize marijuana as well?

Aug. 20 2008 10:59 AM
O from Forest Hills

Bathtub gin, anyone? Party in an hour.:)

Aug. 20 2008 10:59 AM
hjs from 11211

prohibition never works. people always get their fix. just a question of how much we want to waste on policing.

Aug. 20 2008 10:56 AM
office worker from Brooklyn

Here, here, Chuck!

Aug. 20 2008 10:37 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

If you you can die for this country, you should be able to drink to it.

Aug. 20 2008 10:26 AM

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