Here’s an interesting piece in the New York Post, advocating for something I’ve argued in favor of for decades – lowering the drinking age to 18. Excerpt:
Out of 190 countries, only 12 have drinking ages as high as ours. We are keeping company with cool kids on the block like Iraq, Oman and Equatorial Guinea.
Congress raised the age to 21 in 1984 to combat drunk-driving fatalities; states were coerced with the threat of withheld highway funds. Since then, the rate of drunk-driving deaths has dropped more than 50 percent. Good news, right? Absolutely. But why has it dropped?
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a powerful lobby, will tell you it’s because of the age increase, but does anyone really think college-age kids have stopped drinking because it’s illegal? Get serious.
In reality, drivers of all ages have reacted to the much tougher enforcement and severely increased penalties. Back in the day, it was, “Get home safe, son.” Now it’s the slammer and huge fines. Technology has also changed, creating safe alternatives. Kids know to call Uber, an option not available in the ’80s, as with the mobile phones used to summon them.
It’s time to lower the drinking age. Current law is not a deterrent, and it has had negative cultural effects, particularly on our nation’s campuses.
I’ll go a step farther. It’s time for the whole graduated-age-of-majority thing to go away. In all forms.
- Get married
- Sign a contract
- Join the military
- Buy a rifle or shotgun (well, most places)
- Be a porn star
- Have a beer
- Buy a handgun
- Apply for a concealed-carry permit (most places.)
I would argue that, if you are responsible enough to do any of the things in group 1 above, you are responsible enough to do any of the things in group 2. And hell, if a 20-year-old isn’t responsible enough to drink, then why the hell do we let them vote?
18 for everything. Or 21 for everything. Pick an age of majority and apply it to everything. It’s time we either shit or get off the pot.