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Poll: What do you think the legal drinking age should be?

> 21, It's too low now 0 (0%)
21, I like it just the way it is in the US 20 (24%)
19 or 20 11 (13%)
18, if you are old enough to vote you are old enough to drink 34 (41%)
< 18 1 (1%)
There shouldnt' be a minimum age 16 (19%)
Drinking should never be legal 1 (1%)
   Discussion: What do you think the legal drinking age should be?
Laura P. · 17 years, 6 months ago
Does it really matter? People are going to do what they want anyway.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Actually it makes a bid difference. Age limits like speed limits are often broken but they stop people too. It also makes it harder for the youngest people to get a drink. When the limit is 21 an 18-year-old can pass but a 15-year-old usually can't. Of course some can but it makes it much harder
Andrea Krause · 17 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, I had a hard time with this. At 21...pretty much the only people waiting that long are the ones who probably would be responsible with drinking. The ones you worry about are those that didn't bother to wait anyway.

But all the same, I don't recomment lowering it. Sure, it probably wouldn't make a damn bit of difference in how people drink, but I like the idea of people having a longer period where the legal consequences of getting out of hand are a little higher. Like drinking and driving combined with drinking underage, as opposed to just the drinking and driving. I'm probably wrong and they wouldn't get tagged for the underage thing anyway. I don't know. It's not exactly my area of expertise.

I think the age is fine where it is.

In my ideal world there would be no alcohol. But I'm not silly enough to think my ideal should or could happen. In other words, I'd adore it if nobody wanted to drink anymore and just stopped doing it. But I never would advocate another stab at prohibition or any of that. I'm the minority and I can deal with that. :)

Talcott Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Um, there are also plenty of us who at various ages before 21, decided that 21 made no sense as a minimum age, and drank anyways. Actually, I know few people who waited until then.

Of course, the ones who get noticed are the ones who over-do it, get smashed, etc.

For me though, the only thrill with turning 21 was being able to order stuff when going out. But then, I was able to do that in Toronto before hand
nate... Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Yeah, I don't really know anyone who waited till they were 21.

(And no, I'm not including people who just dont' drink at all... since those people aren't, like, "waiting".)
Agent Scully Back · 17 years, 6 months ago

It's tradition in Buffalo when you turn 19, you go to Ontario to have a drink.

John J. Ryan Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Back in the days when NJ was 21 and PA was 18, there were liquor stores lining the Delaware River. 
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
I didn't actually put my answer as a choice, which is 21 but...

This is the kind of legislation that I am almost always against but in this case there was hard evidence that it would save lives and it has. Young drivers are dangerous enough as it is without them having to learn to drink and drive at the same time.

Ideally every car would be equipped with a device that checks if the driver is in shape to drive. Not a breathelizer but something to check reaction time and awareness. Such devices exist but are expensive and cumberson now. If they become practical they'll not only stop people from driving drunk but driving when sleepy or under the influence of drugs.

Of course there is still the other problems involved with people drinking are are exacerbated when the drinker is young. Ro example, drinking is involved in the majority of homocides and suicides.

I'd still lower the age to 18 if I knew they couldn't get behind the wheel of a car.
nate... · 17 years, 6 months ago
That's exactly the problem.
All a drinking age does is encourage people to drink in secret and be less responsible about it.

It's like anything... tell a kid they can't do something, and that's the first thing they want to do.

If you removed the drinking age, I think it would be a mess for a while, but eventually you'd end up with what they have in sensible countries.... people who learn early on to drink responsibly rather than binge-drinking the way people in our country grow up doing.
nitsita Back · 17 years, 6 months ago

I concur.

Josh Woodward · 17 years, 6 months ago
I'm not sure which is best, 18 or no limit. 21 is absolutely absurd. If the government can force you to die for a war you don't support when you're 18, you damn well better be able to crack open a beer to drown your sorrows. :)

With regards to 18 vs no limit, I don't think that most people under 18 are responsible enough to drink. However, I don't believe that it's the government's place to dictate what is responsible; it's the parents'.
Andrea Krause Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Heh, my dad was offering me alcohol long before I was 18, much less 21. I could have totally been a teenage drunk if I was so inclined. :)
Misch Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
My parents were cool. They told me that they couldn't stop me from drinking, though they hoped I would drink responsibly. And, if I had been drinking, no matter where I was, they would see to it that I would get home safely.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Enhh. You can't successfully legislate morality. All that prohibition did was allow organized crime to flourish.

Would my childhood have been better if my parents didn't drink? Absolutely. Would making alcohol against the law or raising the drinking age, or otherwise regulating alcohol have made them stop drinking? Well, it sure didn't stop them from doing drugs.
zil Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
doh' shouls have just said that I agreed with josh, instead I voiced an opinion already stated. my bad, yo. :-)
Starfox · 17 years, 6 months ago
While I don't know if there are drinking age laws in most of the countries or not, Europeans have it right as far as alcohol is concerned. It's viewed as another type of drink, one to compliment a meal or have on a social occasion.

And the teenagers are more responsible because the mystique has been removed. When my fiance was in Germany, she went to some parties where there was alcohol, one girl didn't want to stay late because she had driven. The kids at the party actually said "Why don't you drive back home, get your bike and come back, that way you can drink without worrying about driving home."
John J. Ryan Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
I don't know if it is such a good idea to be bike riding when you're drunk.  You won't be able to ride without falling.  And you can still be a danger to others by riding on the road and not noticing that car coming right at you.  Generally, you should not be operating any kind of machinery while under the influence.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Sorry, I did not add enough context in the hopes of being short and not boring people with a long drawn out story. It was her parent's car, and she had to have it back by morning, so she was going to have to leave the party to return the car. By riding her bike over she eliminated that problem and was free to crash overnight.

I was trying to emphasize the fact kids over there think about the consequences and suggested a course of action which would eliminate the need for driving and still have a good time. Kids here would more likely be like "aw don't be a baby."
Yvonne Back · 17 years, 6 months ago

My parents would always let me try a bit of their drinks when I was little, and because alcohol wasn't something that I absolutely wasn't allowed to have, I never wanted to start drinking to rebel or anything.  Besides, I never liked the taste anyway, and now that I'm old enough to drink legally I don't drink at all.

I think that if the age restriction was relaxed a little and if alcohol wasn't seen as something forbidden to people under a certain age that there would be more responsible drinking.

nate... Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
I agree completely.
iPauley Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
That's pretty much where I was when I was young. I'd occasionally have the slightest sip of beer from Dad's glass (from a sort of "Hey, what's Dad drinking?" curiosity), but once I moved into my teens, I just didn't care for the taste of it, and never had anything.

About a month before my 21st birthday, I had a strawberry dacquiri with friends at a party. I've been legal to drink for 2 and a half years, and I still haven't had all that much. Most I had to drink at once was two Hard Ciders. My friend Ken was worried about me driving home from the restaurant, but I had no problems.

I agree that the 21-year-old drinking limit does appear to contribute to college binge drinking, but I don't think it should be lowered.

-- Pauley
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
When I was in college the age was 18 and there was tons of binge drinking. I always hated being around when that was going on.
John J. Ryan Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Always fear a group of drunken frat boys.  As Camp Hell proved.
nate... Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Frat boys in general... drunken or not.
Andrea Krause Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
And big groups of drunken people, frat boys or not.
nate... Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Well, obnoxious drunken people, yes. :)
Andrea Krause Back · 17 years, 6 months ago

Heheh well with my personal views and baggage that's a redundancy. :) I tend to feel that "drunken" pretty much corresponds to the point at which people become "obnoxious". And I mean obnoxious in not just the loud and stupid way, but also in the falling all over things way, the throwing up on your shoes way, the sobbing into their beer way, etc. *grin*

Tipsy, buzzed, comfortably numb, etc, I do not put into the same league as "drunken".  I may be incorrect from a semantic standpoint, but I'm mostly talking about feelings and impressions that the word brings with it in my eyes.

nate... Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Oh... see, I don't consider that "drunk".
I consider that "trashed".

And I agree... people who get to that point are absolutely ZERO fun to have around.
If people can't handle their liquor, they shouldn't be drinking.

Gotta know and respect your limits.
Erica: movin' to Ohio!! · 17 years, 6 months ago
Arbie Back · 17 years, 6 months ago

Aside from the alter-reality, escape type of drinking (which is wrong for a lot of reasons, mostly because it doesn't work and you feel worse later), it is a nice thing to do, head to a nice venue and have a frothy (or frosty) drink and have a good laugh. Recently (relatively) that might not be bar, it could be a coffee shop. Funny how we can decide to not have another because it might keep us awake but have so much trouble saying no because we might smack up our car.

Annika Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
None?? Not even a little??  Not even like... 1 single long island iced tea?  Not even a white russian, or a rum and coke??  No shots of tequila??  My god woman!!  You really need to be around me more.
Pacho · 17 years, 6 months ago
since the drinking age is 19 locally (british columbia, canada) i suppose i'd have to go with 19. *shrugs*

i'm more interested in what age they set for being able to smoke marijuana, personally. the canadian government, in it's infinite wisdom and with it's government-haste, is slowly going through the process of decrimilization in canada. they toss a little scrap here and a little scrap there. compassionate marijuana has been their first real pilot project...

i'd like to see a poll regarding marijuana use and ages, personally. far more relevant to me in canada.

i'd like to see alcohol illegal myself, but that would make me way too much of a hypocrite given that i think marijuana being illegal is ridiculous. all drugs are equally bad when abused.
A girl named Becca Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
Not happy with the poll questions or options? Then let's see you do better, really! Suggest a poll!
zil · 17 years, 6 months ago
if you're old enough to go and fight for your country you ought to be able to have a drink...

if you are responsible enough to tote a gun, shouldn't you be able to handle a beer?

I'm not nessisarily saying I am an advocate of war games or weapons, just seems that if the government says at this age you can die for us then at that age shouldn't they be able to do something as simple as order a drink?
John J. Ryan Back · 17 years, 6 months ago

That was the rationale behind the 26th amendment to the Constitution, the one that lowered the voting age to 18.

Would they do the same for alcohol?  I don't think so.

nate... Back · 17 years, 6 months ago
I think they might... I mean, these asinine laws have to go at some point.

Like MA... you can't buy booze in a store on Sunday.... unless you're within a certain distance of the border with a state that sells on sunday.... or during the holiday season.... or....

Oh, and you can always go to a bar and drink.. since those are open on Sundays....

I mean, at a certain point, stop making exceptions and just do away with the stupid puritanical law.

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