WOULD YOU DRINK ALCOHOL LESS OFTEN IF IT WAS LEGAL FOR YOU?

by cless1 on April 14, 2014 - 8:49pm

          Binge drinking is a serious problem as discussed by Saylor in his article, but at what price does it take to control college students from doing it. Many people, such as college presidents believe that lowering the drinking age would lead us college students to not drink as much anymore because it would eliminate the “rebel effect”, which is the belief that people do things because it is illegal to be a rebel. In order to lessen the urge to binge, however, we would have to allow more Americans to legally drink. The current debate stated that the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen, seeing that, that is the age in which one is a legal adult and can also join the military. This age would not only open freely alcohol consumption to college students, but also high school students as well. Saylor touches upon the theory, by saying that if we allow this change to happen, a slippery slope effect would occur. For example, if students decide not to binge anymore, then it will cause them to go after other illegal drugs to use as a rebel effect.  Another aspect of this is the slippery slope age idea. If the college students are drinking now because its cool, and they are just below the legal limit, then what would stop highschoolers from doing the same, if there was an eighteen year old rule.

         Although it would lower alcohol related arrests in people under the age of twenty-one, this change could also have a direct correlation on a rise in the number of annual DWI related deaths in America. This sparks the question, is it really worth it? Both sides have a strong argument with valid and key argument, but both also would create new problems or make current ones worse such as the number of alcohol related deaths. For example, if the age was lowered, deaths resulting in overdose or binge drinking might lower, but the number of DWI deaths might be raised due to a higher number of people legally drinking.

         As an underage college student who does drink, I think the drinking age is fine how it is now and there is no need to lower the age so that kids the age of eighteen who are still and high school have access to it.  From my experiences, I believe that drinking not only is a college problem, but also a high school problem. Think about it, 18-year-old college students are binge drinking illegally and they are three years away from a legal age. So if the legal age was changed to 18, then 15 year olds would now be the ones three years away from legal drinking, and also closer to people who are of legal age. If I were a parent, I would much rather my 18 year old get really drunk, rather than my 15 year old. A more approachable and reasonable resolution would be lowering the legal age to twenty, allowing most juniors and few sophomores in college to legally drink. This would lessen binge drinking, but at the same time prevent people that are newly adults from legally obtaining alcohol.

Comments

A really strong and well-defined summary, good job! You clearly pinpoint the key arguments related to lowering the drinking age or not, which definitely enhances the pertinence of your work. I found your summary particularly interesting, as the legal drinking age in Montreal (Quebec) is 18! I do find your arguments important insofar that the slippery slope is somewhat valid (high school students would now be allowed to drink); however I live in a province where the drinking age is 18 and I personally think that this age helps to clearly define the separation between being a teenager and becoming an adult. Having the drinking age at 18 allows young adults to be immediately aware of their responsibilities as well as the legal consequences of their actions without exception.

Great topic! I think that this is one of the major differences between Canada and the U.S, the drinking age is definitely an important issue in both countries and is often debated on. In Quebec, we leave high school at age 16/17 and start college the same year. Our legal drinking age is 18, and I think it should stay that way. In high school, most people started drinking around 15 years old and still do today. A lot of them started drinking with their parents because the parents thought it would be safer if their child tested their limits with them instead of with friends who would not necessarily know what to do if something went wrong. I include myself in those that started drinking around 15, and I have to say that at the first few parties, a lot of people tested their limits with various results. However, there was almost always a parent around, whether in the house, or around a fire while everyone else was in the field or the barn, or something similar (I come from a rural background). So for the first few parties things were too wild, but after that parties were more reserved, the objective was no longer to get blackout drunk, but rather to have fun, drinking was just an accessory to the fun, not mandatory, but optional. Therefore by the time we all started college, we knew how to drink responsibly and what our limits were, at the same time that we got our driving licenses, which meant that not only did we drink responsibly, but we knew that we wouldn't drive afterwards. That is why I think the drinking age should be 18, it makes sens to me.