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Interesting debate

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Interesting debate

This should spark some interest:
http://www.amethystinitiative.org/

There's 100 college and university presidents and chancellors that have signed on to support the debate of lowering the legal drinking age from 21 to 18. FAU President Frank Brogan, according to this web site, is not on there. And neither is the no. 1 party school's president.

My thoughts: Even though drinking is a privilege you earn by age, it's also a privilege that needs to be dealt with responsibly - like being able to drive a car, gamble in a casino, etc.

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Re: Interesting debate

Ive often said that if your old enough to vote, be drafted, and be tried as an adult in court…..


You ought to be able to have a damn beer.

I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick @$$ and I'm out of bubble gum.

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Re: Interesting debate

A beer and a gun for every 18 year old in college….  I agree if your old enough to die for your country you should be allowed to drink.  So I support letting all 18 year olds in the service to drink!  Didn't they try the drinking age at 18 before?  Oh yeah, i was able to drink legally at 18.  But we were much more mature back then…lol  ::)
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Re: Interesting debate

I agree that all 18y/o in the service should be able to drink, that is more than fair.  As far as the general age being lowered, I don't think that needs to be done.  I love it how all of a sudden right now college students are drinking too much and destroying things and killing people.  Like that hasn't been happening for 20 years.  Has anyone seen "Animal House"?  It's college, and kids are gonna drink to excess, that's just part of it.  This issue needs to be handled by the schools in a reasonable manner, not by the government. 

FAU - We got Bowls!
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Re: Interesting debate

To anybody that thinks drinking at 18 is a good idea…take a look at the statistics on fatal drunk accidents during the time when 18 year olds could drink legally compared to when they couldn't…it is staggering.

Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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Re: Interesting debate

In fairness, I don't think that they're necessarily advocating going back to 18, but rather they want to restart the debate and perhaps find better solutions.

They raise some concerns that don't really hold water.  First, of binge drinking, they offer no reason to believe that students won't binge drink if you lowered the age.  Is it the drinking age that's the problem?  Or because they are on their own, maybe for the first time in their lives, with little, if any, adult supervision?  And plenty of people over 21 binge as well.  Just other possbilities to consider.

As far as the "old enough to be drafted, vote, go to jail, etc." argument, the draft argument was a popular one used to lower the voting age to 18 (26th amendment).  The argument was that if I can be drafted, then I should be able to vote for or against the people sending me to war.  There's a relationship between the two.  I don't think you can make the same argument in favor of drinking.

However, I think they are correct in noting that abstinence doesn't work, but really, does it work with any other education initiative, particularly sex and drugs?  Obviously, there's no good way to legislate how parents should raise their children.  But one reason you don't hear about a lot of binge drinking in Europe is because children are often raised with a certain amount of alcohol, a glass or two of wine at dinner, in the supervision of parents, so when they get to college age, drinking isn't a big deal.  In the U.S., we have these moral taboos that dictate there are certain activities reserved to adults that are off-limits to children.
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Re: Interesting debate

Drop it to 15 and urbanize America (happening now with gas prices rising).  I never met a 21 year old German that was binge drinking and driving home….they drink, have fun, and walk/bike/bus/train home.  Its just like weed, people in Amsterdam don't really smoke that much because the counterculture has been removed.

Conclusions: Get kids drunk and make them walk home.

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2007 Sun Belt Football Champions 2007 New Orleans Bowl Champions 2008 Motor City Bowl Champions 2011 Sun Belt Basketball Champions No Bowls without Owls
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Re: Interesting debate

walty12 said

To anybody that thinks drinking at 18 is a good idea…take a look at the statistics on fatal drunk accidents during the time when 18 year olds could drink legally compared to when they couldn't…it is staggering.

For some reason other countries can drink at 18 and be fine but it doesn't seem to have that same effect in America.

Something just different about Americans…

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Re: Interesting debate

The said

In fairness, I don't think that they're necessarily advocating going back to 18, but rather they want to restart the debate and perhaps find better solutions.

They raise some concerns that don't really hold water.  First, of binge drinking, they offer no reason to believe that students won't binge drink if you lowered the age.  Is it the drinking age that's the problem?  Or because they are on their own, maybe for the first time in their lives, with little, if any, adult supervision?  And plenty of people over 21 binge as well.  Just other possbilities to consider.

As far as the "old enough to be drafted, vote, go to jail, etc." argument, the draft argument was a popular one used to lower the voting age to 18 (26th amendment).  The argument was that if I can be drafted, then I should be able to vote for or against the people sending me to war.  There's a relationship between the two.  I don't think you can make the same argument in favor of drinking.

However, I think they are correct in noting that abstinence doesn't work, but really, does it work with any other education initiative, particularly sex and drugs?  Obviously, there's no good way to legislate how parents should raise their children.  But one reason you don't hear about a lot of binge drinking in Europe is because children are often raised with a certain amount of alcohol, a glass or two of wine at dinner, in the supervision of parents, so when they get to college age, drinking isn't a big deal.  In the U.S., we have these moral taboos that dictate there are certain activities reserved to adults that are off-limits to children.

You make some good points. In response to the italicized statements/questions, it seems that university culture is the real culprit. Not to say that people who are not in college don't binge drink as well, but there truly is something about the specific cultural context of university life that leads to a substantial amount of binge drinking. I think that is why we see this discussion being brought forward by university presidents. I don't think changing the drinking age will change student behavior. The atmosphere that promotes binge drinking needs to change and that is something that is very difficult to accomplish.

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Re: Interesting debate

I understand the theory behind the concept and perhaps a change like this would curb some of the "excitement" behind the availability of alcohol in college to underage drinkers but I think Seminowl makes a very valid point. I've spent a good amount of time in England and binge drinking is as common over there as it is here IMO, BUT no one drives home, it's not even a question. I was shocked when I first got there by how incrediblly responsible even the 18/19 y/os are. It's not a question of "well I've only had 4 beers over a few hours so I should be good" they just don't drive if they've even had a sip. And that's in both more urban areas and rural ones.

So this becomes a two faced monster…can dropping the age curb some of binge drinking in college? I think it can help a little bit. But how do we change the mindset of many americans to get them to not even think about driving after a drink?
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