Should the US lower the drinking age back to 18 years old? That's a question people have been arguing over for years. Well today I read an article on USAToday.com that discussed college presidents wanting to get the age changed to 18 because they say current laws "actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus". Universities such as Duke University, Dartmouth and Ohio State are all asking lawmakers to take a look at the current law (National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984) and reconsider.
This is a law I never fully understood. Let's take a look at things 18 year olds are allowed to do:
1) They can enter into legal agreements.
2) They can join the military and fight in wars.
3) They can vote.
4) They can get married without their parents consent.
5) They can serve on a jury.
Now does it make sense to allow an 18 year old to do all these things yet not allow them to drink a beer? No, it doesn't and no one can convince me differently. Groups like MADD want to make us think that if the age gets lowered to 18 then drinking and driving accidents will increase which just isn't 100% true. Yes, it is true that drinking and driving accidents have decreased and have been decreasing since 1980 but their is no direct link between the minimum drinking age and that decrease. There are many key factors that play a part in this decrease such as: educating people against drinking and driving, safer cars, lower speed limits, designated driver programs and the increased usage of seatbelts and airbags.
We are the only country in the nation with a 21 year old age limit. Our country also punishes states that do not change the legal age to 21. How is that you ask? Well, the federal government penalizes states that do not restrict alcohol to people under 21 by withholding 10% of their federal highway funding. So now ask yourself, do you think any state representative is going to worry about this age issue now? Hell no. They need those highway funding dollars.
Let's face it folks, the law doesn't work and needs to be changed. How can we send these kids to war or let them vote yet not drink a beer? It doesn't make sense. What does make sense is early education and getting parents involved. What do you think? Check out the poll at the top and let me know.