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Should the drinking age (U.S.) be lower?

 
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 01:37 pm
@dagmaraka,
dagmaraka wrote:

what's wrong with driving drunk on a bike?

A lot less than drunk driving in a car.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 01:49 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

We can thank MADD and weak-kneed, tipping judges for the ridiculous age limit on drinking.


Yep.
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 02:02 pm
@boomerang,



AGREED.

A few days ago, I was sideswiped by a drunken driver who was in her 70s;
( arrested at the scene for DWI ).
Age is not a relevant aspect to drinking, in my opinion.

On TV, some students spoke of drinking in rebellion
against the indignity of their having been singled out by anti-alcohol laws;
i.e., thay said that thay drank MORE because it was illegal.




David
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 03:08 pm
I'm with the majority on this one; the drinking age should be 18 years old - old enough to vote and die for your country.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 03:09 pm
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

We can thank MADD and weak-kneed, tipping judges for the ridiculous age limit on drinking.


Yep.

I thought it was a federal law denying highway funding to states with lower drinking ages that was responsible.
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 03:35 pm
@DrewDad,
It was but I wouldn't be surprised if MADD was the lobbying force behind the law.
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 03:43 pm
@JPB,
Indeed. MADD helped draft the law, their reps testified before Congress while it was under consideration and their state-level chapters lobbied their respective Congressional reps to get it passed.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 05:03 pm
@JTT,
JTT, I think JPB answers your question in the very next post. People seem to think that there is a Federal law mandating 21 as the legal drinking age. Not so. There is no Federal law which covers legal drinking age. What the Feds did, to put it plainly, was to strong-arm the states (coerce, extort, blackmail, threaten, use whatever word seems to fit) into adopting 21 as a universal standard by saying that no Federal highway funds would be made available to any state which had a lower drinking age than 21. There is not a single state among the 50 which can afford to lose that money. If Vermont had stuck with the 18-year old age, its roads would now all be gravel and not very well graded at that.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 02:50 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I agree. I drank in pubs regularly, until I turned 18. The illegality made it cool. And we were eager to appear grown up. But once you're 18 it means diddly squat.

As for the 'what's wrong with riding a bike drunk'...

As a rider and a driver - drunken bike riders are terrifyingly unpredictable when you're sharing a road with them. Drunks should stick to ride-on lawn mowers.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 11:31 am
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

Vt was also a long holdout on changing the age down to 18. I lived there when it was dropped from 21 to 18 so that young adults would stop driving to NY and NH where it was 18 and then drive home plastered. I lived there when it was raised from 18 back to 21 as part of the national campaign to force states to comply with a national drinking age (may have been pushed by MADD, I'm not familiar with that).

There WAS a constant din when it happened. Some states (including Vt) filed suits against the Feds claiming that withholding federal transportation dollars from states who didn't raise the drinking age to 21 was extortion. They didn't win.

One goal was a national drinking age so that border towns didn't have bunches of drunk drivers on the roads crossing back and forth across state lines. Another goal was to increase the age to a level that would ensure that those who drank legally were more "responsible" in their decision making abilities. A final goal was probably the return of prohibition but that wasn't in the public documents.

Agreeing with the concept that the age of majority should be the age of majority and that sending someone to war, the ballot booth, prison, etc while saying they aren't old enough to legally buy themselves a beer is ludicrous.
You can probably imagine how much fun Lake Geneva was after Illinois caved in. Shopping for the opposite sex was a veritable smorgasbord!
Cool
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 11:37 am
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:
There is not a single state among the 50 which can afford to lose that money.
I don't think this is true. With the high percentage of college kids in Wisconsin (not to mention the already high percentage of beer-drinking fools); I believe Wisconsin lost more money than they get. And don't get me started on Illinois. As near as I can determine; the demented moonscape they call a highway system has never seen a nickel of highway money from the Federal government or anywhere else.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 11:46 am
@fishin,
fishin' said:

Quote:
I do question the rationale being used by these colleges though. I don't think they are pushing the issue out of a concern for their students or over the issue of binge drinking. IMO, they just don't want to have to deal with the problem of their students getting arrested or for that matter, having to enforce the laws on campus to begin with


An editorial in our paper today makes just this point.

The editorial also notes that the Universities have not presented "one iota" of evidence that lowering the age would have the intended consequences.

I have to wonder if it wouldn't just push the age of binging down. A 16 year old surely knows more 18 year olds they could convince to buy them liquor than they know 21 year olds.

21 for drinking just seems so arbitrary when they can join the military, vote, buy cigarettes, etc.

JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 11:53 am
@OCCOM BILL,
Oh they get the money, Bill. They just don't use it for roads.
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 12:24 pm
Old Enough to take a bullet... old enough to have a drink. positive

I also recognize that at 18 a young person may not exercise as good a judgment as even a 21 year old. negative

Looking at it from a business standpoint... I'm in the club business. It would be a boon to me.

For me it's a tough call.

Let's raise the age for military service to 21 and leave the drinking age where it is.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 02:24 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
An editorial in our paper today makes just this point.

The editorial also notes that the Universities have not presented "one iota" of evidence that lowering the age would have the intended consequences.

I have to wonder if it wouldn't just push the age of binging down. A 16 year old surely knows more 18 year olds they could convince to buy them liquor than they know 21 year olds.

21 for drinking just seems so arbitrary when they can join the military, vote, buy cigarettes, etc.


Personally, I think the whole issue of binge drinking is over-stated. I'm not saying that it doess't cause problems but it's a fairly new term for something that's been going on for centuries. My understanding is that the term came from a Harvard Medical School study done in the Late 1980s/early 1990s. Before that we called it "partying". Razz

And I agree with the arbitrary comment. You can operate a 6,000lb, $30,000 car at 80 mph on the highway at 16 and be in the military and responsbile for handling a firearm along with million of $$ worth of equipment and sent off to be killed for your country at 18 but you aren't responsible enough to be able to buy a $2.00 beer until you are 21? It just seems silly.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 02:25 pm
@boomerang,
As a libertarian, I loathe interference in any person 's private decisions,
such as what he will ingest.

I 'd make the drinking age approximately zero,
or just repeal all alcohol related statutes.

Does anyone know what the applicable law is in France ?




David
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 02:29 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Let me add that I did not begin to drink
until well into my 30s (no interest in doing so, until a certain young lady...).
I still believe that we 'd be better off if citizens freely chose not to drink,
tho I expect to drink this evening at dinner in an Italian restaurant.
( taking cabs )



David
rabel22
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Aug, 2008 10:32 am
@OmSigDAVID,
In Illinois the cops can pick you up for drunk walking bike rideing or any thing else haveing to do with drinking. They have a no tolerance alcohaol level for anyone under 21.
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Aug, 2008 10:35 am
@boomerang,
Once again we are on the cutting edge here in God's country.
0 Replies
 
Vengoropatubus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Aug, 2008 11:44 pm
@rabel22,
I believe I've heard stories about people being issued OWIs(operating while intoxicated) for driving bikes while buzzed.
0 Replies
 
 

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