At least that is what a group of college presidents and Chancellors called the Amethyst Initiative say.  Presidents from universities like Duke, Butler, Colgate, John Hopkins, and Dartmouth are signatories.

They say that the 21-year old drinking age doesn’t work and it has “created a culture of dangerous binge drinking on their campuses.”  They say this even though a recent study shows that lowering the drinking age (at least that was experienced in New Zealand) caused an increase in car crashes among younger people.

One side says that if it is lowered then drinking loses its appeal.  It is no longer taboo.  They say if you are allowed to vote and serve in the military then why not drink too?

The other side groups like MADD and CASA will cite the study I referenced, general immaturity, poor choices made under the influence, and brain development that is still occurring that increases a young adults propensity for addiction.  It has also been shown to save lives.

What say you?

Update: Follow-up question – I know we have a diversity of opinions and worldviews that follow this blog.  I’m curious, what is your view on drinking?

40 comments
  1. I think that young people will drink no matter what the drinking age but leaving it at 21 might save some from poor choices earlier on.

    Here in Australia the legal drinking age is 18 and there are those who would like to see it raised to 21.

    Young people can get their drivers license at 17. It’d be great to see a bigger gap between the two events.

  2. I think that young people will drink no matter what the drinking age but leaving it at 21 might save some from poor choices earlier on.

    Here in Australia the legal drinking age is 18 and there are those who would like to see it raised to 21.

    Young people can get their drivers license at 17. It’d be great to see a bigger gap between the two events.

  3. I think that young people will drink no matter what the drinking age but leaving it at 21 might save some from poor choices earlier on.

    Here in Australia the legal drinking age is 18 and there are those who would like to see it raised to 21.

    Young people can get their drivers license at 17. It’d be great to see a bigger gap between the two events.

  4. Yeah.. maybe we should raise the military enlistment age to 21 for the same reason that the drinking age is 21? 18 is too young to make those kinds of decisions.

    Of course if we don’t then I think that the age that one can drink should be changed to the age that one can give their life for their country.

    Seems hypocritical that these ages are not the same.

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?

  5. Yeah.. maybe we should raise the military enlistment age to 21 for the same reason that the drinking age is 21? 18 is too young to make those kinds of decisions.

    Of course if we don’t then I think that the age that one can drink should be changed to the age that one can give their life for their country.

    Seems hypocritical that these ages are not the same.

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?

  6. Yeah.. maybe we should raise the military enlistment age to 21 for the same reason that the drinking age is 21? 18 is too young to make those kinds of decisions.

    Of course if we don’t then I think that the age that one can drink should be changed to the age that one can give their life for their country.

    Seems hypocritical that these ages are not the same.

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?

  7. Rodney,

    I agree. I think 18 is too young.

    Bob, I am inclined to agree with you as well. It never used to be though. Adolescence is getting stretched out.

    I have thought about a military exemption… actually wouldn’t even need that if on-post drinking age is changed for those with military IDs. All that would be needed is a change in the UCMJ.

  8. Rodney,

    I agree. I think 18 is too young.

    Bob, I am inclined to agree with you as well. It never used to be though. Adolescence is getting stretched out.

    I have thought about a military exemption… actually wouldn’t even need that if on-post drinking age is changed for those with military IDs. All that would be needed is a change in the UCMJ.

  9. Rodney,

    I agree. I think 18 is too young.

    Bob, I am inclined to agree with you as well. It never used to be though. Adolescence is getting stretched out.

    I have thought about a military exemption… actually wouldn’t even need that if on-post drinking age is changed for those with military IDs. All that would be needed is a change in the UCMJ.

  10. Well…My folks let us try alcohol when we were little.

    None of their kids had problems with the forbidden allure of alcohol.

    Moving the age to 18 will raise the chance that they’ll have their first exposure to legal alcohol while at home, supposedly among those who can control them.

    Another note: “Hey, grats, you’re an adult! But you can’t be trusted with alcohol.”

    Against this move…Other than wanting to smack the jerks who kept telling me that, at 18, I was “too young” to make basic decisions, not a whole lot of reason. I can’t think of any arguments to allow alcohol at 21 that wouldn’t be equally applicable to allowing it only at 30, or after 5 years of successful marriage.

  11. Well…My folks let us try alcohol when we were little.

    None of their kids had problems with the forbidden allure of alcohol.

    Moving the age to 18 will raise the chance that they’ll have their first exposure to legal alcohol while at home, supposedly among those who can control them.

    Another note: “Hey, grats, you’re an adult! But you can’t be trusted with alcohol.”

    Against this move…Other than wanting to smack the jerks who kept telling me that, at 18, I was “too young” to make basic decisions, not a whole lot of reason. I can’t think of any arguments to allow alcohol at 21 that wouldn’t be equally applicable to allowing it only at 30, or after 5 years of successful marriage.

  12. Well…My folks let us try alcohol when we were little.

    None of their kids had problems with the forbidden allure of alcohol.

    Moving the age to 18 will raise the chance that they’ll have their first exposure to legal alcohol while at home, supposedly among those who can control them.

    Another note: “Hey, grats, you’re an adult! But you can’t be trusted with alcohol.”

    Against this move…Other than wanting to smack the jerks who kept telling me that, at 18, I was “too young” to make basic decisions, not a whole lot of reason. I can’t think of any arguments to allow alcohol at 21 that wouldn’t be equally applicable to allowing it only at 30, or after 5 years of successful marriage.

  13. I’m thinking back when I was 18-19 and was involved in underage drinking. Making it legal wouldn’t have kept me from getting drunk. It just would have made it easier to get.

    When I turned 21 I had given my life over to Christ and had pretty much stopped because I had a problem with it.

  14. I’m thinking back when I was 18-19 and was involved in underage drinking. Making it legal wouldn’t have kept me from getting drunk. It just would have made it easier to get.

    When I turned 21 I had given my life over to Christ and had pretty much stopped because I had a problem with it.

  15. I’m thinking back when I was 18-19 and was involved in underage drinking. Making it legal wouldn’t have kept me from getting drunk. It just would have made it easier to get.

    When I turned 21 I had given my life over to Christ and had pretty much stopped because I had a problem with it.

  16. It seems like the college authorities want to push the problem of binge drinking into the hands of high school principals and administrators.

    Legalize your problem and make it the problem of someone else.

  17. It seems like the college authorities want to push the problem of binge drinking into the hands of high school principals and administrators.

    Legalize your problem and make it the problem of someone else.

  18. It seems like the college authorities want to push the problem of binge drinking into the hands of high school principals and administrators.

    Legalize your problem and make it the problem of someone else.

  19. That is a great point Andy. I think their counter-argument would be that the kids at that point are still under the supervision of their parents unlike when they are in college though.

  20. That is a great point Andy. I think their counter-argument would be that the kids at that point are still under the supervision of their parents unlike when they are in college though.

  21. That is a great point Andy. I think their counter-argument would be that the kids at that point are still under the supervision of their parents unlike when they are in college though.

  22. In Canada (in my Province) – you can get a license at 16 – and drink officially at 19.

    I would say that younger people are more irresponsible with the driving in general – no booze really needed.

    As for drinking – unless we move the age limit to the early 30’s or something – you will not really change anything.

    I can say in all honesty, all age groups from 18 – mid 20’s all drink to some serious excess and there is not really an age limit that changes that trend – maybe until we get into our 30’s and such (even then i am taking a shot in the dark).

    I think the driving age should be moved to 18 (graduation year) and maybe have drinking age pushed to 20. It won’t solve anything but I like those ages better.

  23. In Canada (in my Province) – you can get a license at 16 – and drink officially at 19.

    I would say that younger people are more irresponsible with the driving in general – no booze really needed.

    As for drinking – unless we move the age limit to the early 30’s or something – you will not really change anything.

    I can say in all honesty, all age groups from 18 – mid 20’s all drink to some serious excess and there is not really an age limit that changes that trend – maybe until we get into our 30’s and such (even then i am taking a shot in the dark).

    I think the driving age should be moved to 18 (graduation year) and maybe have drinking age pushed to 20. It won’t solve anything but I like those ages better.

  24. In Canada (in my Province) – you can get a license at 16 – and drink officially at 19.

    I would say that younger people are more irresponsible with the driving in general – no booze really needed.

    As for drinking – unless we move the age limit to the early 30’s or something – you will not really change anything.

    I can say in all honesty, all age groups from 18 – mid 20’s all drink to some serious excess and there is not really an age limit that changes that trend – maybe until we get into our 30’s and such (even then i am taking a shot in the dark).

    I think the driving age should be moved to 18 (graduation year) and maybe have drinking age pushed to 20. It won’t solve anything but I like those ages better.

  25. Shane, I’m with you. Changing the legal age to drink wouldn’t have stopped my underage drinking (too much and too often in my case). If anything, it would have lowered the age my friends and I started drinking.

    In my opinion, the problem is the image our culture portrays as what fun looks like. Kids see a high premium put on drinking/partying by adults and decide it’s cool. They emulate what they see. Gotta say I don’t see how lowering the drinking age stops binge drinking.

  26. Shane, I’m with you. Changing the legal age to drink wouldn’t have stopped my underage drinking (too much and too often in my case). If anything, it would have lowered the age my friends and I started drinking.

    In my opinion, the problem is the image our culture portrays as what fun looks like. Kids see a high premium put on drinking/partying by adults and decide it’s cool. They emulate what they see. Gotta say I don’t see how lowering the drinking age stops binge drinking.

  27. Shane, I’m with you. Changing the legal age to drink wouldn’t have stopped my underage drinking (too much and too often in my case). If anything, it would have lowered the age my friends and I started drinking.

    In my opinion, the problem is the image our culture portrays as what fun looks like. Kids see a high premium put on drinking/partying by adults and decide it’s cool. They emulate what they see. Gotta say I don’t see how lowering the drinking age stops binge drinking.

  28. As a Marine, I think that the drinking age should be lowered to 18. I know 18-19 year olds who have purple hearts, they’ve taken an IED, but they can’t have a beer? In my opinion, that’s just messed up.

    As for raising the enlistment age to 21, that is a horrible idea. The Armed Forces have a very large percentage of enlisted who join before the age of 21. Also, I hate when people say I’m not responsible enough to have made the decision to enlist.

    A final thought- marijuana, PCP, cocaine, and heroine are all illegal- yet people get their hands on it all of the time. Making something illegal doesn’t get rid of it. If someone wants something illegal badly enough they will get it, the drinking age isn’t going to determine the age at which people who want to drink will begin drinking. Why penalize those who have defended your God given rights of ‘life , liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?’

  29. As a Marine, I think that the drinking age should be lowered to 18. I know 18-19 year olds who have purple hearts, they’ve taken an IED, but they can’t have a beer? In my opinion, that’s just messed up.

    As for raising the enlistment age to 21, that is a horrible idea. The Armed Forces have a very large percentage of enlisted who join before the age of 21. Also, I hate when people say I’m not responsible enough to have made the decision to enlist.

    A final thought- marijuana, PCP, cocaine, and heroine are all illegal- yet people get their hands on it all of the time. Making something illegal doesn’t get rid of it. If someone wants something illegal badly enough they will get it, the drinking age isn’t going to determine the age at which people who want to drink will begin drinking. Why penalize those who have defended your God given rights of ‘life , liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?’

  30. As a Marine, I think that the drinking age should be lowered to 18. I know 18-19 year olds who have purple hearts, they’ve taken an IED, but they can’t have a beer? In my opinion, that’s just messed up.

    As for raising the enlistment age to 21, that is a horrible idea. The Armed Forces have a very large percentage of enlisted who join before the age of 21. Also, I hate when people say I’m not responsible enough to have made the decision to enlist.

    A final thought- marijuana, PCP, cocaine, and heroine are all illegal- yet people get their hands on it all of the time. Making something illegal doesn’t get rid of it. If someone wants something illegal badly enough they will get it, the drinking age isn’t going to determine the age at which people who want to drink will begin drinking. Why penalize those who have defended your God given rights of ‘life , liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?’

  31. U think you all are retards kids are drinking anyways so what is the difference if they do it legally or not wake up people who don’t beliueve this your are stupid if you dont knwo kids do it anyway so there will be no chance

  32. U think you all are retards kids are drinking anyways so what is the difference if they do it legally or not wake up people who don’t beliueve this your are stupid if you dont knwo kids do it anyway so there will be no chance

  33. U think you all are retards kids are drinking anyways so what is the difference if they do it legally or not wake up people who don’t beliueve this your are stupid if you dont knwo kids do it anyway so there will be no chance

  34. That New Zealand study seems to work with my logics, lowering the drinking age makes it all even more risky. I am concerned about the binge drinking problem too but I never consider lowering the drinking age a solution and yes, I know how taboos work.

Comments are closed.

Get CT In Your Inbox!

Don't miss a single update.

You May Also Like

Questions That Beg To Be Asked on Sex Ed

I found this graph over at the Abstinence Clearinghouse Blog.  Graph numbers…

*Shocker* Free Condoms in School Leads to More Pregnancy

Kasey Buckles and Daniel Hungerman of Notre Dame University concluded that schools who distributed condoms to their students saw more pregnancies not less.

Lozier Institute Calls for Permanent, Expanded Adoption Tax Credits

The Charlotte Lozier Institute released a paper today calling for expanded adoption tax credits to be implemented in order to provide relief for families.

Blown to Smithereens: Why We Conservatives Got the Health Care Ruling We Deserved

We screamed and shouted from the roof tops that “we have our…