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Drinking Age is 21..or is it 19? Meh, my fake ID says I'm 28

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Solaris, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Solaris

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    In the UK and Ireland it's 18 and I think that's best.

    I'm 20 and the last 2 years have been awesome, much becuase I could drink. I wouldn't want to deny others those fun experiences.
     
  2. Bourbondownthehouse

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    The drinking age in the U.S. isn't actually a federal law. The federal government threatened to withhold money for roadways if the stated didn’t each individually comply. The argument for the 21 year old drinking age is exactly what Chater said. A 16 year old is more likely to have friends that are 18, and could then access alcohol more easily. That being said I think the 21 rule is ridiculous. It’s a tired argument, but If I can fight in a war then I should be able to drink.
     
  3. Dcc001

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    It was 18 when I grew up in Alberta.

    - I think 21 is completely ridiculous. You've legally been an adult for three years; you can get married, you can serve in the military, and you can wind up with a criminal record if you're caught drinking a beer? It makes no sense, and this practice should be completely removed.

    - It should be a common age for the whole country. It was always frustrating to be considered an adult in Alberta, then travel to Ontario and be considered a minor.

    - Personally, I think that 16 is an acceptable age to drink. It's the age where most people start to drink or have at the very least been drunk before, anyway, so it might as well be legal. Perhaps lowering the age and unrestricting the access will take some of the excitement away from it, and there would be less of a push to drink your face off once you're "legally" allowed to do it.
     
  4. Kubla Kahn

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    I know it won't be popular with the underage crowd but Im against the lowering of the drinking age here in America to 18, with an exception. Could it shift the culture to the more refined nose in the air wine drinking European crowd? Possibly, but I think that binge drinking has been so ingrained into our culture that it simple won't go away if we lower the age and could possibly increase the problem. Do you really think the blow out keggers while the parents are out of town would actually stop? Or that heavy drinking games would somehow lose favor because you could have a beer or two at dinner?

    Honestly look back at your teen years or look at teens you know now, they have few life experiences that would make them capable of anything close to sound judgment. Teenagers are fucking hormone induced retards, you really want these maniacs drinking legally?

    Just to placate the inevitable, "But but but I could be called off to die in war but I can't have a beer
    !?!?!" Ill cede that fact. If you join the armed forces, or are drafted into them, you are allowed to drink at 18. All you have to do is show proper military ID. The people that serve in the armed forces made a choice to serve the country and possibly give their lives, they deserve the right to drink. You as a pimply faced punk do not get to use them as an argument to chug Boones Farm unless you are willing to sacrifice what they do.
     
  5. Samr

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    This is a bit off the beaten path but: I say lower the drinking age to 18 (or even 16), but tighten the DWI laws for younger drivers, such that if you are stopped with any alcohol (or a much lower percentage of it) in your system while driving, you are given a stronger punishment. Also, at the same time, limit purchases by "young adults" (16/18-21) to something like one 24/30-case of beer, three bottles of wine, two bottles of liquor, etc. at a time.

    This would allow young adults to drink, which they were going to do anyway, but encourage them to be more responsible about when, where, and how much.

    I was still responsible-ish about drinking when I was younger, and there is no way in hell I'd be opposed to lowering the drinking age (not just based upon my experiences, but others), but I did admittedly have a tendency to overindulge sometimes.

    Not to get overly political here, but man, when our generation starts making the laws......
     
  6. Dcc001

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    There are two reasons why I think it should be lower. The first is that certain European countries have it lower, and they have less incidence of binge drinking and youth alcoholism than we do in North America, where it is supposedly illegal. Removing the thrill, I feel, would make it less enticing.

    The second reason is as you mentioned: people drink at 14, 15 and 16 anyway. Laws are most successful when they reflect what is actually happening within the culture. There's no sense in raising the age to, say, 25 because no one would follow the rules. Why not lower the age to what is occurring anyway, thus removing the pressure on the legal system for misdemeanour charges for underage drinking?
     
  7. WASPnest

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    I liked drinking way more when I was underage. I had to hide from cops and go all Ocean's 11 on liquor stores and hotels to even get the shit in the first place. Then when I had it, I could get plastered on four beers.

    I think it should be 16. Well, it should have been for me. I don't know if this applies to people with more hardcore personalities, but when I turned 18 I spent about a year where "can drink as much as I can metabolize" meant "should drink as much as I can metabolize." I got bored with it, like you do with anything, so now I just drink to make people interesting.

    But my 18th year was a fuckup due, in large part, to the novelty of booze. That's not that big a deal, almost nothing 18-year-olds do matters, but nothing 16-year-olds do matters. I would have much preferred to lose the marks than the money.

    On the downside of this plan there would be 16-year-olds in my bars. Actually, let's make it 21.

    And how about we can drink outside, speaking of Europe, that would be tits.
     
  8. effinshenanigans

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    None of this. Start younger. Rub a bunch of whiskey on your baby's gums when they're teething and plant the seed early. Let them figure it out from there. They'll either turn out to be well-balanced scotch drinkers with a nose for a quality single malt or turpentine booze bags, reeking of mineral spirits and GSR (or as ToyToy calls it, "Tuesday").
     
  9. Brengsek

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    In Switzerland, we have a two-step approach:

    - At 16, you can buy beer, wine and other assorted low-alcohol beverages
    - At 18, you can buy everything

    We tend to get the "get-completely-fucked-in-half-at-all-costs" at an earlier age and be done with it by the age of 20 or so. However, I highly doubt if this has anything to do with the legal drinking age. I think it's more to do with drinking culture in general:

    - The anglo-saxon approach to drinking just seems to somehow spiral out of control - just from all your tales (more from the old board) I gather that many of you have been to the drunk tank or had friends end up there.

    - When showing my cousins around Switzerland, we happened upon the carnival. Half a city is pissed and in disguise, yet nary a scuffle breaks out. Have you ever been to inner city Melbourne on a random friday or saturday night? The place is crawling with police because of all the shit that happens. (This was the case the last time I visited in 2008)

    - The UK girls in short short skirts that are falling-down drunk and puking everywhere are pretty famous by now.

    I realize I'm painting in horribly broad strokes here, but how do you see it? What are the differences between drinking cultures? How do they affect laws and regulation pertaining to alcohol?
     
  10. Evolution

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    I definitely know too many shitty drivers to support moving the drinking age down to 18 in the US. The only way I could be for it is if they kept the .01 = DUI law in place until 21. I don't trust teenagers to drink and not drive. I realize that many people feel like they can drive just as wellwith a few drinks in them. Most people, however, cannot.
     
  11. Kubla Kahn

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    Im not sure about how much "the thrill of the taboo" leads people to binge drinking. I agree that there was thrill of trying something taboo and sneaking around to get it at first then it became more of a pain in the ass trying to find someone with a decent fake or paying bums to do buy it. The real reason we were drinking wasn't because of the thrill of being caught be but the plain fact that it gets you fucked up and all of the social lubrication that came with it.

    We aren't the European nations some would love the USA to be I really don't think are standards would magically change to that of Europe if we lowered the age, we are just different cultures. We've connected heavy drinking to many things that give us pleasure and have become the norm and rights of passage. Things that would not change if they were lowered. The connection with college and heavy drinking is one example as is say tailgating and sporting events. I think it be to the contrary, you lowered the age here and magically you'd see a huge legal group of teenagers drinking side by side with their mid 20s counterparts at tail gates and sports bars.

    The real problem which I and others have pointed out is that their mental maturity is simply no where near the people just a few short years older. I'd love to here your thoughts on this.
     
  12. ghettoastronaut

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    Because the fuckers who run the drive test centres in Ontario went on strike for >6 months last year, my license is expired awaiting a test, with an extension until July provided by legislation. I went to buy some beer last week and the lackey who was working the cash told me it was expired and refused to accept it. What a moron.

    I think the age should be 18. Well, actually, I think the age should be tied to something that isn't as arbitrary as birth date, and linked to, say, getting your high school diploma or having completed 4 years of high school or something like that. Somehow I was enough of an adult to join the army, drive, get licensed with a professional body and go to university requiring me to spend time working in a pharmacy dispensing narcotics but not enough of an adult to have a fucking beer. And I don't think they should be very strict about the age. I'm sick of being made to feel like a criminal for buying a six-pack of beer, all in the name of keeping a 17 year old from getting tipsy. I don't want to sound like one of those mouth breathing tea baggers, but I strongly dislike the idea that the government I elect decides that I need to be carded and assumed to be a would-be criminal until I can prove otherwise. The other week a group of friends tried to go to a bar; one of them was too stupid to carry ID with them, meaning that a) none of us would have been able to drink anything at the table, and b) she would have to be kicked out at 9:00. Just because she didn't have ID. Wonderful fucking system. The only real nice thing about the high drinking age is that it keeps high school kids out of bars.

    This. The culture is entirely different surrounding alcohol, and that culture dictated a low drinking age in Europe and a high one in the U.S.; the high drinking age didn't dictate the culture.
     
  13. kuhjäger

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    Could you imagine the party in the US if the drinking age was lowered?

    I wouldn't leave the house for weeks, or get on the road for month. One of the primary reasons I don't really mind the age being so high as compared to other countries is that we have a car based society. With the exception of the bigger cities, public transportation providing a safe travel alternative.

    We can get behind the wheel at a far younger age, and in most states with far fewer restrictions than anywhere in the world. Also putting alcohol easily into the hands of kids who haven't been driving long would likely lead to bad results. Obviously this still happens, but we all remember the days years ago when we were teenagers how hard it usually was to get booze, so it was a rarity.

    If Bobby can go to the liquor store behind the wheel of a car he hasn't been driving for that long and pick up a bunch of booze, and drive to a party, drink more than he can handle and not have the experience drinking to make good judgment calls. Next thing you know he is wrapped around a tree.

    In Europe this is much less of a likely scenario due to their near zero tolerance laws regarding drinking and the general lack of youths with cars.

    Although I imagine that it wouldn't be an overnight switch. I bet it would be lowered to 20 years old for a year and a half, and then 19 for another year and a half, and then to 18 were it to happen.
     
  14. Axel NL

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    The system is the same in the Netherlands, you can buy alcoholic beverages with a low ABV % at 16, and hard liquor at 18 years old.
    The problem here is that there is always the what we call "2 year rule". If you set the age limit at 16, youth will start drinking from 14. This is obviously more harmful then 16 years old drinking at an 18 year old age barrier.

    this post sums it up for me, general drinking culture differences are profound between the US and Europe. I also agree that drinking can not and should not be seen seperately from driving age. For me personally having just gotten my drivers license at 18 years old, i am one of a few students in my high school who actually has a use for that thing. The general transportation culture revolves around biking for 90% (especially when drinking!).
    Zero tolerance laws are another interesting aspect of this, here the law is that a "new" driver (first 5 years of getting your drivers license) you have a maximum allowed alcohol percentage resulting in less then one beer. after that it goes up to 2 beers maximal. I have just gotten my drivers license so i don't think i'm in a position to talk about wether or not this is actually effective whatsoever though.
     
  15. fertuska

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    From my experience the "big difference in cultures" can be summed up easily:
    US: Hahahaha, dude, listen up, yesterday I got so hammered, I woke up naked puking strapped to a stretcher in the ER..good times!!
    Eastern Europe: Please please please don't anyone find out I ended up in the ER, they'd laugh at me forever...

    Basically, at home it means you don't know how to handle your liquor and makes you a pussy.
    The 18 rule is not enforced at all, but it doesn't need to be - because Eastern European parents are way worse than the police if the line is crossed. We all did the stupidest shit at around 15 or 16. But we had to come home in the evening (by bus or taxi or driven by a completely sober 18 y/o friend - the law is 0.00 BAC in my country, and actually enforced) or the next day...and answer to an angry dad. And if anyone dared throw a party in their parents' absence? I'd take the electric chair over facing the parents. So yeah, Dcc, we drink at 14, but with supervision.

    And not only that, alcohol is an inherent part of our celebrations, so we're used to it from a very early age. We all tasted it with our parents for the first time as part of Christmas, birthday or New Year's celebrations. My boyfriend was quite puzzled when when he finally came to visit my country, because the first thing my dad did was pour everyone shots, including my 16 year old sister. That's how we do it there though. Celebration? Bring out the liquor.

    So unless parents in the US stop being so overprotective (there were people at my college in the US who have never tasted alcohol), and unless you guys are willing to forbid people from driving until 18 (unrealistic in the US), and make driving a 0.00 BAC policy, moving the legal drinking age below 18 is completely out of the question. I don't want to be run over by a tipsy 16 year old, thank you very much. 21 is a bit high, I agree - but you win some (driving at 16), you lose some.

    I also think that everyone here should be required to learn how to drive with a manual, because that would take most of the uncoordinated monkeys off the streets and make it safer for everyone - but again, it's easier for you to drive, harder for you to drink. Cry me a river.
     
  16. ssycko

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    I think kuhjager's pretty close:

    The "the drinking age in Europe is sooo much lower/ non existent and they don't have a drinking problem over there!!!" argument is one I hear so often and is so stupid. Causation and correlation, people. It's the entirely different cultures surrounding alcohol that affect the problem, not the drinking age.

    I do think that the drinking age being 21 is stupid. It's actually one of the main things I hear my professors complain about: that they can't take their students out for a drink like their professors did when they were in college. How to remedy this without causing massive destruction due to gaggles of retarded kids drinking and driving? Hell, I don't know. The "lower it a year every year" would probably be the closest thing, but there's still no way to avoid the inevitable. Acceptable losses or no?
     
  17. ghettoastronaut

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    I have to challenge this thing about lowering the age resulting in rampant drunk driving. Canada and the U.S. are pretty close when it comes to the cultural perception of alcohol, and yet, 18/19/20 year olds in Canada do not terrorize the streets while drunk. That said, I do know people who have drank and driven, or gotten high and driven, but they were still underage (17/18) when that happened.

    Don't forget, raising the drinking age to 21 in the first place was done to discourage young people from drinking and driving, and has that really worked? The driving force in keeping people from drinking and driving is consciousness raising - everyone knows that a drunk driver endangers other people, not yourself, and I think most people wouldn't drive drunk even if there weren't overly harsh penalties for them. The whole basis of every 19-20 year old getting fucking shitfaced for a month straight if they were suddenly allowed to drink is bullshit. Most of them are drinking anyways, so doing it legally won't be particularly new.
     
  18. ssycko

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    I don't know how far removed from the younger generation you are ghetto, but I know a LOT of retarded kids who wouldn't think twice about drinking and driving.
     
  19. ghettoastronaut

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    Well I'm 21. But you're right that there are people who drink while driving, or get high while driving, so I'll take the point. How many of those retards are underage? How many drink anyways? Does being underage and drunk really deter them from drinking and driving, anymore than weed being illegal deters people from being high and driving?
     
  20. Frebis

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    A lot of you seem to think kids drink because it is cool. I'm calling horse shit. Kids drink because it is fun to be buzzed. Or at least that is why I drink, and why I always have. It makes shitty activities fun. It makes boredom go away. It makes time fly. Lowering the drinking age isn't going to make the buzz go away.

    For example, masturbation is ten times less taboo nowadays than it was ten years ago. But does that stop you from getting off? No, in fact your probably do it more...and with a partner no less!

    Kids dont listen to authority. You may not be old enough to realize this yet, but kids do dumb things at a much more rapid rate than adults do. Off the top of my head I can probably list 100 things I did between the age 14 and 20 that make me shudder when I think about them today. Of course they will drink and drive. All the fucking time, and at an age when they are just learning how to drive. You just can't grasp consequences at that age. If you don't know many people that have drank and driven on a regular basis, you must live somewhere with decent public transit.

    I think an interesting thread would be name ten things you did when you were younger that make you embarrassed/shiver with fear now.

    If anything I'm in favor of rasing the drinking age to 23 or 24*. The punishment should be ten times stronger. Teach these fucks a lesson with force. Drinking should be a privilege, not a right. Or maybe I just don't want younger people in my bar (because I hate most everyone, but especially those still in college/fresh out).

    *This coming from a person who has binge drank every weekend since he turned 15.