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  1. #1
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    I have a question: What do you think about the fact, that the legal age for buying (and drinking) alcohol is 21 here in the United States. Do you think that is appropriate?
    I think it is totally off: You can drive a car when you're 16, you can get executed on the electric chair when you're 18, you can buy a shotgun when you're 18 but you cannot legally drink a beer until you are 21. (For me that's no problem anymore, I turned 21 today ).
    I am originally from Germany where the legal drinking age for beer & wine is 16, so I am very biased towards a more liberal approach regarding alcohol. I can not follow the thinking that someone who is (at the age of 18) mature enough to buy and use a shotgun, should not be capable of judging for himself whether to drink alcohol or not. This regulation seems very outdated and actually encourages young people even more to drink (the appeal of the forbidden...), I think.
    I would like to hear some opinions! It would also be good, if you could include your age with your post, so that it is easier to see what younger/older people think.

    Johannes

  2. #2
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    Yeah, I think 21 is a good age to let people start drinking alcohol. It would be scarry going around public where there would be people maybe 16 who are drinking. They just are mature enough to handle the responsibility. Not that all 21 year olds can, but it's less of a risk.

  3. #3
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    In the UK it's 18 (although alcohol is allowed at a younger age if served with a meal - 16 I believe).I think 18 is OK, most people start earlier though, part of the fun of being young and irresponsible.

    I think it's the kids having guns in the US that is scarey... but that's for another thread sometime!

    Peter

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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    21 is just fine...guns are another issue...ya see, this way they won't have guns AND alcohol until they're 21.

    Overall things like this should always err on the side of safety (later on) to be safe.

  5. #5
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    Just think - 16 year old drivers can hardly drive now..just think if they were drinking and trying to drive :|

  6. #6
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    I think that age shouldn't determine what you are allowed to do. A lot of people who are 21 aren't mature to drink, and a lot of people who are under 21 are mature enough to drink.

    If only there was a way to measure maturity

  7. #7
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    How about the honor system for maturity level?

    I disagree with Matts statment: "16 year old drivers can hardly drive now". In fact, I'm more scared about the 30-40-50 year olds that are A) driving one handed (12 o'clock), B) using cell phones or C) distracted with something else than I am scared about the 16 year olds. I think that there should be more written/btw driving tests for current drivers - but my beliefs on the driving system are for another thread.

    (Back to the alcohol...)
    I don't like the fact that you can be executed before you can drink, but I do like the current age - I think that it's reasonable and I'm probably not gonna drink anyways.


  8. #8
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    I'm 20. 21 in three months.

    I think you should be able to drink beer & wine at 16, hard liquor at 18 and drive at 18.


  9. #9
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    In New Jersey, they are making it you have to be 18 to drive. I think they should have the drinking age at 18 instead of 21. Most people when your 17 drink at parties and stuff anyways. I do think 16 is too young, but 18 sounds just fine.

  10. #10
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    In Louisiana the drinking age is 18 (I believe.) There is no federal law in the US that prohibits drinking before the age of 18 per se, the government just won't give the state money to repair roads. So Louisinanins (sp?) choose a young drinking age over having nice roads. I guess that's their priority...

    The difference between driving and drinking is you are tested before you can drive. (Imagine: "Okay. Drink four beers. Good. Now get in this car and drive home. Nope. You failed.") Obviously an honor system wouldn't work and maturity is impossible to measure (people can cheat on almost anything) so the ONLY reasonable way is by age - and too high is probably safer then too low.

    Owen

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard jumpthru's Avatar
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    I think there should be prohibation.

    The reason its 21 in the USA is because teens here aren't responsible. I am 14, so dont htink I am just harping on youngings.

    Yes I aggree with the "forbidden" thing. But I also think that even if it was allowed kids would go crazy. And I mean crazy. At least thats what it would be like at my high school I think.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    It's NUTS (yes, NUTS!) to say that the drinking age should be 16...some people would be able to handle it...but most wouldn't...why take the chance? Always err on the side of safety...always! Why take a chance? So a couple of teens can get drunk? C'mon.

    There is no way to measure maturity...age is the only way.

  13. #13
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    I think that kids drink just to do something illegal. There are TONS of teens drinking now...making it legal would make it seem like a thrill. I am not saying the age should be lowered...or am I?

  14. #14
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    That's why SitePoint is based in Australia ;-) When you turn 18 here you can drink, shoot, drive and vote.

    It's a big day 'down under' when you turn 18. Not that most Aussie's wouldn't have started most of these activities a few years earlier...
    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
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    It's a big day 'down under' when you turn 18. Not that most Aussie's wouldn't have started most of these activities a few years earlier...
    Absolutely! I turned 18 when I was in Sydney, it was a really 'important' birthday

    As for all of you who didn't agree with me:
    Most people said, that a 16 year old is not mature enough to drink responsibly. I think maturity has nothing to do with age. I don't know about you, but I felt old enough at 16 to decide what was good for me and what not.
    Isn't this a free country where everybody should be able to decide for himself, what to do and what not?

    Johannes

  16. #16
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    It's NUTS (yes, NUTS!) to say that the drinking age should be 16...some people would be able to handle it...but most wouldn't...why take the chance? Always err on the side of safety...always! Why take a chance? So a couple of teens can get drunk? C'mon.

    There is no way to measure maturity...age is the only way.
    <sarcasm>

    Yeah. Why take a chance?? Let's outlaw drinking altogether because obviously those 85 year old drunks that spit on your shoes as they ask for more beer money should spoil things for everybody.

    Hey... let's outlaw cars too! I mean, TONS of people die in car accidents each year! Why take the chance that somebody might die?

    While we're at it, let's raise the voting age to 400.

    </sarcasm>

  17. #17
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Well I personally had my first beer when I was 3 months old and have been drinking ever since. I think I got drunk for the first time when I was 2.

    (and yes I am serious and I can get proof from my mother).

    It is not all that bad in my family. Young 'uns are allowed to drink with permission at the age of 16. This is at family gatherings and they are not allowed to drive afterwards. When I graduated from High School, I moved out on my own and my Alcohol supplier was my mother. She figured I was going to do it anyway so it might as well be in the safety of my home with friends. While I was going through my party nightly phase (errr... college), we had two methods of preventing people from driving home.

    First method was having everyone toss their keys in a bucket of ice water which was then frozen. Once they got their keys out of the Block of ice they were free to go home but after digging through a 20 pound block of ice with a spoon your sober anyway.

    Second Method was locking the keys in a trunk with a combination padlock (combo was changed every party) and if the person could 1) remember the combination and 2) had the dexterity to actually open the lock they could go home.

    We never had anyone leave until the next morning.

    But that was years ago. It has been 3 years since I have drank enough to be considered legally under the influence and that last time was the night I left my now ex-wife. I still drink socially and there is always beer and wine in the house and I always have my birthday shot of Bacardi 151 but don't see the need to drink heavily for any occasion.

    I think the legal age for drinking in the US should be lowered to 18 or the legal age to enroll in the military should be increased to 21. If you can take a bullet for your country, you should be able to drink a beer.
    Wayne Luke
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    Also remember that maturity has nothing to do with how you handle alcohol. Sometimes even the most mature person can do stupid things on the booze. Not that I know anything about this ;-)






    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
    sitepoint.com - Master The Web!

  19. #19
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    I think the legal age for drinking in the US should be lowered to 18 or the legal age to enroll in the military should be increased to 21. If you can take a bullet for your country, you should be able to drink a beer.
    I agree with this. Plus it does nothing for tourism in the US. Be buggered if I'd be travelling to the US between the ages of 18 and 21.
    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
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  20. #20
    ********* *********** Jason Donald's Avatar
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    Also remember that maturity has nothing to do with how you handle alcohol. Sometimes even the most mature person can do stupid things on the booze. Not that I know anything about this ;-)
    You wrote the book.


  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jbb

    I don't know about you, but I felt old enough at 16 to decide what was good for me and what not.
    Isn't this a free country where everybody should be able to decide for himself, what to do and what not?
    No, it's not! A free country has to have laws...keep in mind people OLDER and SMARTER and MORE MATURE than you have felt the same way and yet screwed things up big time...not a knock on you, but I'm making a point: it is still taking a chance...

    ...and alcohol is not vital to your life...therefore you do not need it yet...why take a chance?


    Originally posted by jbb

    <sarcasm>

    Yeah. Why take a chance?? Let's outlaw drinking altogether because obviously those 85 year old drunks that spit on your shoes as they ask for more beer money should spoil things for everybody.

    Hey... let's outlaw cars too! I mean, TONS of people die in car accidents each year! Why take the chance that somebody might die?

    While we're at it, let's raise the voting age to 400.

    </sarcasm>
    You took what I said, and took it to an outrageous extreme, and then denounced it. Why should we lower the drinking age? Because a bunch of rowdy teenagers can't wait? THEY DO NOT NEED IT...alcohol is not a vital part of your nutrition...which means we should BE CAREFUL.

    Let me put it this way: we have enough idiots out there (and even highly intelligent people can be effected)...that, basically, if you lower the drinking age you'll probably see an increase in alcohol induced car crashes and other crimes/problems...is it worth even one or two of those just so the rest of us can drink earlier?

    Like I said above: I personally feel that I could start drinking right now at the age of 16 without problem...but I realize that more intelligent and more mature people my age have tried the same and gotten into trouble - why risk it?

  22. #22
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    The drinking age in the US used to be 18, it was moved to 21 basically to get it out of the highschools.

    When the age for something is 18 it becomes very easy for someone say 14 to get it. Because chances are they have an older sibling or a friend who has one, or a friend that old even.

    When the age is 21 there is less of a chance that they know someone old enough to legally buy it. Now of course I'm not saying it worked perfectly, obviously highschool kids still drink, but I think there would be alot more alcohol consumed if the drinking age was still 18.

    So in other words they changed it not to punish the 18/19/and 20 year olds, but to try to get it away from the 14/15 year olds.

    Personally, I think that the smoking age should follow suit. Smoking is a horrible problem among american teenages, especially girls. To me it seems guys do not smoke as much, but 60% of the girls I meet on campus smoke. And thats a big problem. They all started in highschool of course. Smoking is more addicting than alcohol and while smokers do not really cause a danger to others the dangers to themselves is great.

    I also think they should legalize marijuana. Marijuana is less addictive than caffeine, it actually prevents, not causes, brain damage, and it is high in antioxidants (which are good for preventing cancer). In countries where marijuana is legal teen drug use of it has actually gone down, and overall drug use of hard drugs such as cocain and heroin has also gone down, not to mention the government making so much money off regulating it and taking so much money from the drug dealers. I think legalizing it would do so much good for the US, and I'm sure it'll happen eventually.

    Chris

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I think that the age should be 0 like in France and a few other European countries. I really don't think having a drinking age makes it impossible for someone who wants alcohol to get it.

    In my house my parents have 50-100 bottles of wine in the basement and several special New Year's champagne in a cabinet in our kitchen. There's nothing they are doing to stop me from getting any of those.

    This is probably the case for some people but say my friend's parents didn't keep this stuff around the house--he'd just come over to my house (not that we'd have a drinking party or anything, it's an example)! If someone is determined to do something like this, they will.


  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    It doesn't make sense to legalize something because "people will do it anyway"...with that logic we wouldn't have any laws.

    I personally do not thing marijuana should be legalized. Why do I suppose alcohol as legal, then? Because when you drink beer, there is the POSSIBILITY of getting a buzz or high - getting drunk. With drugs, the whole POINT of the thing is to get that buzz...which disorients you.

    I expect Luzer to disagree...but so be it. I guarentee this: you legalize marijuana and lower the drinking age and you get more violence and at least a few more people killed - is that really worth it?

  25. #25
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    I think that the US should seriously look at their European neighbors in regards to the pros and cons of lowering the drinking age. I've seen 14 year olds walk into a McDonalds and order beer without a second thought. The mentality is,
    "if you're mature enough to handle it, then you're mature enough to accept the consequences of your actions". As much alcohol as is consumed overseas, I seldom saw a drunk person.



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