underage drinking

I’ve always thought it was silly that our government deems 18 year olds responsible enough to be soldiers, but not responsible enough to drink. Under current law, it’s easy for underage people to get alcohol. A high percentage of the people I know have (or have had) fake IDs that get them into bars and work just fine in stores. And you can always get a slightly older friend to buy it for you. Current laws don’t discourage underage drinking much and there are few education programs discouraging things like binge drinking. Take the situation on college campuses for example. My university has 3 all freshman dorms. Almost every weekend night, there’s an ambulance outside at least one of them for someone with alcohol poisoning.

I think we should lower the drinking age to 18 with a few stipulations. I think 18-20 year olds should only be able to buy alcohol in bars. This is good for several reasons. Bartenders don’t serve people who are too drunk. It will be good for local businesses. And alcohol in bars is usually more expensive, so 18 year olds won’t be able to afford as much to drink. Make the consequences for buying alcohol from a store for people under 21 more severe. Ramp up consequences for DUIs for people under 21- say anything over the limit results in a 6 month suspension of a driver’s license and a 100 hrs of community service, in addition to already existing penalties. And students should get better education in high school and when they start college about drinking responsibly.

18-20 year olds aren’t going to stop drinking, but we can teach them to do it responsibly and “train” them a bit by forcing them to drink in public, not in a dorm room surrounded by other 18 year olds trying to prove they can drink someone else under the table.