Drinking Age is 21? Why?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Isaac Brock, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    Okay, there's always been this question burning in the deed cockles of my heart. Why can't American youth legally drinking until they are 21? I ask this not to partonize, but because honestly it makes no sense to me.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that by the age of 18 in the United States, you can vote, own and purchase a firearm, kill yourself by purchasing smokes, serve in your country's military and are for all intents and purposes, legally responsibly for your actions. YET, you cannot have a sip of beer.

    To me this is completely foreign and I'm completely against it. If there is a "coming of age" so to speak, then I believe all your rights should be given to you on that day.

    In Canada we're not completely devoid of the whole late drinking age either. Fun Fact! Look at a map of Canada, go to the west coast to BC where the drinking age is 19, now go westward. Every second province from BC has a drinking age of 19, every province in between has a drinking age of 18 until you reach the maritimes and the Northern territories where you are in fact drunk regardless of age.
     
  2. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    I don't have a good answer, Isaac, but I agree.

    The driving laws are state to state as well. I believe they vary from 15yrs old to 17 to get a drivers license. I know my wife was licensed at 15 when she was in Virginia, whereas I couldn't get my license until I was 17 in NJ.

    Hell, everyone drinks before 21 anyway. :)
     
  3. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    I've never understood how we can legitimize some of the age restrictions in this country. Most states have drinking age restrictions of 21 yet we allow 18 year olds to make even bigger, and sometimes more horrendous, decisions like getting married.

    Some of our practices are just plain ludicrous.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I agree... it makes no sense for people not to be able to drink until 21. However, it's a state-by-state decision. The reason that it's 21 in all 50 states is because the federal government threatens to withhold road construction money to any state who does not keep the drinking age at 21. I think it's blackmail, but it's the system in place.

    IMO, 18 is an acceptable drinking age, especially now that DUI laws are so strict and DUI education in schools is so widespread.
     
  5. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    Is that right??? Well! I would have never made the highway-drinking age link! That is interesting indeed, I was not aware of that. I'm suprised that more people don't go out against the drinking age, but I suppose that's a different culture at work. If you raised the age in Canada, which is half financed by beer, I'd reckon you'd have quite a little rebellion on your hands. Ooops I guess I just gave out a state secret! Shhh!
     
  6. Joan
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    Joan Mommy Dearest

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    When I was in high school (back in the dark ages) the drinking age in NY was 18 - we would just drive over the Goethals from NJ to Staten Island every Friday Night!!
     
  7. Moi
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    Moi Active Member

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    Even when I was young, it was 18. I believe it indeed was to stem the tide of DWI accidents that the feds decided to up the age limit. And for those of you who think its hypocritical for someone younger than 18 to join the armed forces or be drafted, I think it's still 18 for members of the armed services to drink.
     
  8. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    I take this argument even further....and prepare to get flamed. If we are going to hold 12 year olds responsible as adults when they commit a crime, how then can we say a 12 year old is incapable of drinking a beer, smoking a cigarette, signing a contract, driving a car, getting a job, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. We say legally they cannot do any of these things that adults can, but should they mess up they will be held accountable as an adult. This is ridiculous. 12 year olds should not be receiving life in prison without possibility of parole. Either you are an adult at 12, 16, 18 or 21. I personally would set 14 as the "age of reason", and 16 as the driving, drinking, and smoking age. In my state, you have to be 21 to serve on a state jury, but 18 year olds can serve on a federal jury. A high school senior can indict terrorists, but cannot decide whether someone is guilty of assault.

    The reason the drinking age is 21 is because the federal government under Ronnie Reagan bowed to political pressure from groups like MADD and tied highway funds to states changing the drinking age to 21. We allow 18 year olds to die fighting for our country, but do not trust them to drink a beer. This is absolute nonsense.
     
  9. Moi
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    Moi Active Member

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    Ronald Regan never had the capacity to create a law independent of congress, which I am sure was made up of a significant mixture of conservatives and liberals.

    Again, can anyone confirm that members of the armed forces can still legally drink at 18- I vividly remember that was the rule in the mid 80's after Regan's term (I went to a quasi-military school) and I wonder if it ever changed?

    Anyone know if the change of age made a difference? Seems to me I've heard reports that say both- mainly due to the number of under 21's driving, rampant underage drinking and the high speed performance of many autos today.
     
  10. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    I know that when I joined the corps in 84 the drinking age in North Carolina was 21. I could drink on base in the enlisted club but could not buy a 6 pack at the convenience store on base. I could not go off base and drink until I was 21.
     

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