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Drinking Age, Where America Has Erred

America's 21+ Drinking Policy is a relic of the past.
by

Matthew S

on 2 May 2011

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Transcript of Drinking Age, Where America Has Erred

21+ America's Failed Alcohol Restriction Policy Do We Know Something that the Rest of the world does not? If America's 21+ Policy is in fact superior, why has the rest of the world not followed suit? 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act:
Imposed a penalty of 10% of a state's federal highway appropriation on any state setting its drinking age lower than 21. Albania
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Comoros
Equatorial Guinea
Fiji
Gabon
Ghana
Guinea-Bissau
Jamaica
Kyrgyuzstan
Morocco
Solomon Islands*
Swaziland*
Togo
Tonga
Viet Nam Antigua
Barbados
Belgium
Georgia
Germany
Greece*
Luxembourg
Malta
Norway*
Poland
Portugal
Spain (16 in Asturias) 17
Cyprus
Algeria
Argentina
Australia
Bahamas
Barbados
Belarus
Belize
Bermuda
Bolivia
Botswana
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Bulgaria
Cameroon
Canada (19 in some provinces)
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chile
China
Columbia
Congo, Republic of
Costa Rica
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt*
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Finland
France
Guatemala
Guyana
Hungary
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Jamaica
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Latvia
Lesoto
Lithuania
Malawi
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Mozambique
Namibia
New Zealand
Niger
Nigeria
Norway*
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Phillippines
Russia
Samoa
Seychelles
Singapore
Slovak Republic
South Africa
Spain (16 in Asturias)
St. Maarten
Sweden*
Thailand
Trinidad and Tobago
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Uganda
Ukrane
United Kingdom (age 5 with parents)
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Zambia
Zimbabwe 19
Nicaragua
South Korea
Iceland
Japan
Paraguay Fiji
Pakastan (for non-Muslims, prohibited for Muslims)
Palau
Sri Lanka
United States* But American Experts Agree that 21+ Policy has served America's Youth best.... Mothers Against Drunk Driving More than 25,000 lives have been saved in the U.S. thanks to the 21+ Minimum Legal Drinking Age Enforcing the legal drinking age of 21 reduces traffic crashes, protects young people’s maturing brains, and keeps young people safer overall. Drug Free Action Alliance At least 50 peer-reviewed MLDA studies concur that a higher minimum legal drinking age is effective in
preventing alcohol-related deaths and injuries among youth. When the MLDA has been lowered, injury and death rates increase, and when the MLDA is increased, death and injury rates decline. Additionally, evidence shows that while many youth under 21-years-old still consume alcohol, they drink less and experience fewer alcohol-related injuries and deaths when the legal age is 21.
Meanwhile, the unintended consequences of the 21 Minimul Legal Drinking Age are experienced by underage Americans everyday 21
18 20 16 No Drinking Age Current Law Does Nothing to Truly Prevent Underage Drinking Students Against Destructive Decesions
26.4% of underage individuals consumed alcohol in the past 30 days.
72% of students have consumed alcohol by the end of high school.
37% of students have consumed alcohol by the end of 8th grade. Clearly, the law is not stopping youth from drinking. Instead, it is forcing young Americans to commit crimes and expose themselves to unnecessary risks. Law leads to MORE Unlawfulness Deprived of the ability to consume alcohol in standard locals such as bars or clubs, American youth are forced to break laws and make unwise decesions that often lead to unsafe situations Fake ID's Jungle Juice Random Unknown Parties Buying Alcohol from Strangers Thus the 21 year-old drinking age breeds disrespect for law and ethical compromises. At times, it can be difficult to obtain alcohol. Thus underage Americans are ever more frequently turning to drugs, which can be more easily obtained. Between 1991 and 2001, the percentage of eighth graders
who used marijuana doubled from one in ten to one in five - Illicit teen drug use as of 2003.
* 8th grade -- 30.3%
* 10th grade -- 44.9%
* 12th grade -- 52.8%
Law Drives Drinking Underground and makes it Less Safe Illegal Drinking is Unsafe Drinking Students Cannot Drink at a Club, thus they Pregame Students afraid to request medical assistance for those in need for fear that they will be punished. Ali Marie Raddatz attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. There she was in the honors program at the Lubar School of Business on scholarship. She graduated from high school with honors and was extremely involved. She was on her high school’s tennis team, president of student council, an altar girl as well as taught Sunday school to kindergartners. She on paper and to her parents was the ideal child. At age 18, during her freshman year, she was found dead in an off-campus apartment. It turned out that Ali had been drinking shots of hard liquor that night and passed out while other students continued to party around her. It was reported that the partiers were not unaware of Ali but rather afraid to get her help. Underage students cannot go to a venue for the evening and purchase a few drinks with friends. Instead they privately consume several shots of hard liquor in a short amount of time hoping the “buzz” lasts them the whole night while at the venue.

Ali's Mom asks, “Why are young adults being forced to drink in secret, in environments that encourage reckless, irresponsible behavior?" At 18 you have earned the right to:

No longer be subject to child labor laws
Move out and live anywhere you want
Sign a contract, including an apartment lease or a loan application
Get a driver’s license without any restrictions, if you do not already have one
Be charged as an adult if you are suspected of a crime
Go to an 18 and over club
Purchase and use tobacco products
Get married
Serve on a jury
You can be sued
No one else is any longer responsible for your actions except you (if you mess up, your parents do not have to accept responsibility for you anymore)

At 21 you have the right to:

Consume alcohol Why the Minimul Legal Drinking Age should be set at 18 in the United States Anyone under 21 sees alcohol as a “forbidden fruit.” The curiosity leads to more people under the age of 21 drinking anyway. If drinking is made legal for the 18 and older, it will serve much better as the curiosity isn’t as high and the fruit isn’t forbidden anymore.
When drinking is made legal for anyone under the age of 21 and over 18, drinking takes place in public. It can then be supervised by police, security guards and health workers as well.
We have tried prohibition legislation twice for controlling irresponsible drinking problems in the past. Once in 1850s and again in the 1920s. These laws were repealed because they could not be enforced and the backlash caused other societal problems. The law didn’t work then and as we all know isn’t working now. It’s time for a change.
Personal Responsibility.
At 18, Americans are bestowed their full rights and privileges of citizenship, and thus ought to have the sovereignty to decide if they wish to consume alcoholic beverages or not. Ali Marie Raddatz (1991-2009) What YOU Can Do Amethyst Initiative Convince President Kerwin to sign the Amethyst Initiative Petition Twenty-four years later, our experience as college and university presidents convinces us that…

Twenty-one is not working

A culture of dangerous, clandestine “binge-drinking”—often conducted off-campus—has developed.

Alcohol education that mandates abstinence as the only legal option has not resulted in significant constructive behavioral change among our students.

Adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.

By choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law. We call upon our elected officials:

To support an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21 year-old drinking age.

To consider whether the 10% highway fund “incentive” encourages or inhibits that debate.

To invite new ideas about the best ways to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol.

We pledge ourselves and our institutions to playing a vigorous, constructive role as these critical discussions unfold. 136 Chancellors and Presidents of Universities and Colleges across the United States have signed this petition, when will Kerwin follow suit? 60 Minute Special Matthew Stefanski
Claudio Lacayo
Lindsay Mcginley AMETHYST INITIATIVE
http://www.amethystinitiative.org/ Why the drinking age should be lowered:
An opinion based upon research
Ruth C. Engs, Professor, Applied Health Sciences,
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405
http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/cqoped.html Students Against Destructive Decesions: Drinking Statistics
http://www.sadd.org/stats.htm International Center for Alcohol Policies
http://www.icap.org/ Alcohol: Problems and Solutions
Prof. David J. Hanson, Ph.D.
http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/index.html Mothers Against Drunk Driving
http://www.madd.org/underage-drinking/why21/ Choose Responsibility
President Emeritus John M. McCardell Jr. of Middlebury College
http://www.chooseresponsibility.org Drug Free Action Alliance
http://logancountyfcfc.com/w-pcontent/uploads/2010/06/Keep-the-Minimum-Legal-Drinking-Age-21.pdf U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services
Office of Applied Studies
Trends in underage Drinking
2002-2006
http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/underage2k8/Ch2.htm#2.1
60 Minutes
CBS Online Sources
Full transcript