Drinking: 18 vs. 21 | BU Today | Boston University


lowering the drinking age to 18 articles

Nov 18,  · The biggest argument for lowering the drinking age is that drinking should simply be a basic right for an adult, which includes year-olds. As seen in the picture above, the vast majority of countries in the world allow for drinking at 18 years old or even xblasteers.cf: Kyle Brown. 3. Lowering the drinking age would eliminate thrill drinking. In the critical 18 – 20 age bracket, there are often binge drinking episodes simply because it is a thrill to break the law. Eliminate the thrill by lowering the drinking age and the taboo will be gone as well, encouraging normal alcohol consumption in the critical age bracket. In a meta-study of the legal drinking age and health and social problems, 72% of the studies that were reviewed found that there was no statistically significant relationship to the age of drinking and increased criminal behaviors or suicides despite claims that lowering the drinking age to 18 .

The Debate About Lowering the Drinking Age

Part four of a five-part series exploring drinking on campus. For much of the 20th century, the legal drinking age in the United States had a bumpy ride. After Prohibition ended inlowering the drinking age to 18 articles, you had to be 21 to sidle up to a bar. During the height of the Vietnam War, 18 was your ticket to a six-pack.

Women turn out in large numbers for the anti-Prohibition parade and demonstration in Newark, N. More than 20, lowering the drinking age to 18 articles, people took part in the mass demand for the repeal of the 18th Amendment.

AP Photo. Finally, inthe federal government, backed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADDordered all 50 states to raise their legal drinking age to 21 years old or suffer a 10 percent cut in their annual federal highway dollars. Byevery governor had complied. But some people feel MADD has gone too far. Over the past two decades, several efforts have bubbled up to bring the drinking age back down to InMcCardell founded Choose Responsibility CRa nonprofit group devoted to spreading awareness of the dangers of excessive and reckless alcohol consumption by young adults.

They argue that the current law has driven underage boozing underground and into dangerous territory. Attaching available numbers to real progress is a tricky business. MADD claims the higher drinking age is responsible for a decline in annual alcohol-related deaths, lowering the drinking age to 18 articles 26, in to 16, inas counted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSAwith alcohol-related fatalities dropping more than highway deaths where booze was not a factor.

They also note that highway design, vehicle safety, and seat-belt use have markedly improved since the s. Proers counter with a study by researchers at the University of Minnesota who reviewed more than studies since NMDAA was enacted that consistently show benefit to the law, as well as popular support.

They also note that the age for handgun purchase is 21 as well, and to rent a car is InChoose Responsibility launched the Amethyst Initiativea movement of university and college presidents calling for a reconsideration of the law. Boston University President Robert A. Brown is not among them. BU Today spoke with Seaman, the current president of Choose Responsibility, lowering the drinking age to 18 articles, and William DeJonga School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and an expert on alcohol education, who has debated members of Choose Responsibility in the past, to discuss the pros and cons of lowering the legal drinking age in America.

BU Today : What led you to decide that Age 21 was the right or wrong direction for this country? Seaman: When I began researching binge drinking on American college campuses—Harvard, Dartmouth, Middlebury, Hamilton, UVA, Duke, Indiana, Wisconsin, Berkeley, Stanford, Pomona—I was struck by the unanimity of the culture on these campuses that seems to revolve around heavy, dangerous, determinative drinking, lowering the drinking age to 18 articles, where people set out to get drunk and the whole notion of pregaming and doing shots in the dorm room.

Another part of my eureka moment was when I visited McGill University. As you know, McGill is in Montreal, where the drinking age is 18, but they also have, in any given year, 2, Americans enrolled as undergraduates.

I wanted to see how the Americans there behaved as compared to their compatriots in American schools. And I was really struck by the relative civility I found up at McGill. They could go down to the bars in Montreal and drink or go to the clubs or they could have a case of beer delivered to their dorm rooms.

It was an open culture. The other piece that really struck me was that at McGill the students and faculty and other adults intermingled around alcohol, whereas in American universities and colleges, there was a total separation of adults from young people.

That struck me as a really perverse culture and the wrong way to go about it, lowering the drinking age to 18 articles. So I came away from that convinced that 21 was not solving the problem. It was part of the problem. Researchers took a look at what was going on in those states compared to similar states that had not made the change, and it was very clear that changing the law was resulting in a higher number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Based on that evidence, MADD began to push for a uniform age 21 law.

Researchers then began looking at the impact in those states that had switched to 21 as they came online, and you could immediately see the benefits in reduced traffic fatalities. AP photo. The only explanation that most traffic safety people point to is the Age 21 law itself. New Zealand recently switched from age 20 to As soon as they made that change, not only did they have more traffic fatalities among and year-olds, but among and year-olds.

Does the Age 21 law infantilize young adults who can vote, serve on juries, and die for this country lowering the drinking age to 18 articles battle? Seaman: I sent three daughters through college in the s. And through that particular vantage point, going up to campus four times a year, meeting with students, and seeing the enormous growth of the student affairs staffing on college campuses, it struck me as being somewhat infantilizing. The rules and the nanny mentality that existed was not helpful.

It was not what I remembered from my experience in college. I became curious about what had changed and decided to take a look at the total culture of college campuses. The drinking is the piece that jumped out. I look to Canada and to the rest of the world and I see that people can drink at a younger age and be civilized about it. One of the things I did when I was researching Binge is I sought out international students, and I would ask them what their impression was.

It was remarkably uniform. Gee, these people are silly, they spend so much time thinking about alcohol. Dejong : When the drinking age was lowered, we did not get less infantile behavior; we actually got more. You increase taxes and consumption goes down and the negative consequences from drinking go down.

You make alcohol available on Sundays and people buy more, drink more, and the negative consequences go up. Those kids drink higher amounts and more frequently. They experience more negative alcohol-related consequences. Show me data, not anecdotes. We can find anecdotes for both sides of the argument. Watch this video on YouTube. Watch student reactions in the video above. Does Age 21 breed disrespect for authority?

Some of what I saw on these college campuses included fraternities where they had built elaborate systems, wild stuff right out of Prohibition, where the bar suddenly turns around and becomes a library. In two minutes, they had a raging party turn into what looked like an ice cream parlor. Dejong: Disrespect for authority can happen with the enforcement of any law that people are not uniformly behind.

There is something to the argument that Age 21 creates disrespect for the law, but I could say the same thing about speed limits. We violate speed limits all the time. And the fact is, if you look at the polling data over the years for the Age 21 law, there is overwhelming public support for it. There may not be overwhelming support for it among people who are 18 to 20, but U.

We ask their opinion of the Age 21 law. The Amethyst Initiative, signed by almost college presidents, seems to suggest that educational leaders see Age 18 as a viable solution. Seaman: We launched the Amethyst Initiative, which college and university presidents have signed, calling for an objective and dispassionate debate over a better system; 21 is not solving the problem.

I deal with a lot of student affairs people and deans of students, and I think what the smart ones are doing is focusing on the bad behaviors that result from the misuse of alcohol, rather than the mere consumption of alcohol.

But do crack down on the people who bust up windows in the student center or some other form of vandalism. Do crack down on the people who get involved in date rapes. DeJong: A lot of the presidents who signed up were not necessarily in favor lowering the drinking age to 18 articles changing the law, but wanted to encourage an open discussion and review of it, lowering the drinking age to 18 articles.

Some of them have signed and gotten hell for it from their own staffs, who have to now try and deal with the issue. Some presidents had to be taught what the research issues were, and then withdrew their support.

I also think a lot of the interest among the college presidents came about from a sense of fatalism—that there was nothing that works so we should try this. The states are up against a federal law that incentivizes the current law. It would cost states an enormous lowering the drinking age to 18 articles of money and provoke vociferous opposition from a variety of groups, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Seaman: That is a tough lowering the drinking age to 18 articles. I understand. Because we still have a fair number of year-olds who are in high school and the prospect of them being able to supply thelowering the drinking age to 18 articles,year-olds with alcohol is a daunting one. My response is that if you take 18 as a clear, bright line that separates adults from nonadults, which the law does in every other respect, lowering the drinking age to 18 articles, I think you could enforce it more credibly and have more buy-in from the people themselves, lowering the drinking age to 18 articles.

But right now we have a law that nobody respects. For all age groups, there was a total disrespect for the law that was engendered by the failure of Prohibition.

It just had no popular support. The answer I would give is you lowering the drinking age to 18 articles to have an educational component as part of any change in the law. Do you see any positives to the drinking age being 21? Seaman: I think at the beginning it seemed to have—if not the law itself, at least the debate surrounding it—an impact on drunk driving. That impact was a 13 percent decline over a six- or seven-year period. Age 21 was a broad-brush social policy used to fight the specific problem of drunk driving.

And really, underage drinking and drunk driving are two very different things. You look at the statistics and the last time I checked, just under 90 percent of drunk driving fatalities in this country were caused by people over And we strongly advocate even stronger drunk driving laws than we already have. Photo by Ian Sutherland. Professor DeJong, clearly binge drinking is a problem on college campuses under the current law. What more can be done to educate students?


18 Interesting Pro Lowering the Drinking Age Statistics - HRF


lowering the drinking age to 18 articles


3. Lowering the drinking age would eliminate thrill drinking. In the critical 18 – 20 age bracket, there are often binge drinking episodes simply because it is a thrill to break the law. Eliminate the thrill by lowering the drinking age and the taboo will be gone as well, encouraging normal alcohol consumption in the critical age bracket. Feb 11,  · Return the drinking age to 18 -- and then enforce the law. The current system, which forbids alcohol to Americans under 21, is widely flouted, with disastrous consequences. Teaching people to. Oct 21,  · The problem with drinking is not whether the legal age is 18 or 21, it’s that, like everything else, until you’ve done it you don’t know how. I went to college when and where the drinking age was 18 (17 for some of us), and binge drinking was no worse a problem than it is now, by appearances less so.