Drinking Age Debate Rages On

In today’s WSJ, InstaPundit’s Glenn Reynolds comments on the continuing drinking age debate:

The “old enough to fight, old enough to drink” argument has force. In fact, 18-year-olds in America are old enough to do pretty much everything except drink. Along with joining the military, 18-year-olds can vote, marry, sign contracts, and even take on a crippling lifetime burden of student loan debt in pursuit of an education that may never land them a job. Yet we face the absurd phenomenon of colleges encouraging students to go into six-figure debt—which can’t be discharged in bankruptcy—but forbidding them to drink on campus because they’re deemed insufficiently mature to appreciate the risks.

Defenders of the status quo claim that highway deaths have fallen since the drinking age was raised to 21 from 18, but those claims obscure the fact that this decline merely continued a trend that was already present before the drinking age changed—and one that involved every age group, not merely those 18-21. Research by economist Jeffrey A. Miron and lawyer Elina Tetelbaum indicates that a drinking age of 21 doesn’t save lives but does promote binge drinking and contempt for the law.

Flashback: Sigma Nu reports on the drinking age debate in the winter 2010 issue of The Delta: http://sigmanu.pursuant3.com/2009/11/nov09-8a/?keepThis=true

What do you think? Should Congress lower the drinking age? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

One thought on “Drinking Age Debate Rages On

  1. Wes says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with lowering the drinking age to 18. With a three year age gap between the time parents stop “raising” their children and when it is legal to drink, you create an educational vacuum that can put many college age kids in danger. Parents just don’t educate their kids on how to be responsible with alcohol because they either a.) forbid it’s use entirely, or b.) don’t feel the need to because it won’t be an issue until the child is of legal age. There are countless instances of kids drinking in fields and houses while parents are away and then suddenly find that they have no way home. Keeping the legal age at 21 only creates a underground culture of responsibility that can’t be regulated because let’s face it – kids are getting smarter these days.

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