NYTimes Against Lower Drinking Age

Remember that petition by a lot of American college presidents to lower the legal drinking age? The New York Times editorial board takes a break from being generally socially liberal to say that this is a bad, irresponsible idea, because college drinking culture is the real problem:

Certainly, surreptitious drinking can lead to excessive drinking, but that does not justify the college executives’ conclusion that “21 is not working” where binge drinking is concerned. Europe, often cited as an example of controlled use of alcohol by younger people, has binge drinking problems. France, which has long allowed drinking for 16-year-olds, is debating raising the age.

The 21-year-old floor is not the problem. It is the culture of drinking at school.

Thoughts, underage alkies?

16 thoughts on “NYTimes Against Lower Drinking Age

  1. Anonymous

    The reason drinking remains a problem in our country is because a) we have no public transportation and b) we allow kids to drive at 16/17 and drink at 21. In most countries drinking begins at 16 and driving at 18. The government and MADD don’t care about the fact that kids are drinking so much as they are concerned about drunk driving.

  2. Anonymous

    The reason drinking remains a problem in our country is because a) we have no public transportation and b) we allow kids to drive at 16/17 and drink at 21. In most countries drinking begins at 16 and driving at 18. The government and MADD don’t care about the fact that kids are drinking so much as they are concerned about drunk driving.

  3. 6.54

    Sure, the drinking age isn’t the only cause of binge drinking in college – but it is one of them. If it’s illegal for kids to drink in a public, responsible manner throughout their upbringing, then there’s very little room for education about how much more awesome it is to be tipsy than black-out drunk. Changing the drinking age won’t make the problem disappear, but it is a necessary first step in any reasonable education plan.

  4. 6.54

    Sure, the drinking age isn’t the only cause of binge drinking in college – but it is one of them. If it’s illegal for kids to drink in a public, responsible manner throughout their upbringing, then there’s very little room for education about how much more awesome it is to be tipsy than black-out drunk.

    Changing the drinking age won’t make the problem disappear, but it is a necessary first step in any reasonable education plan.

  5. maxliving

    I don’t think lowering the drinking age will have much effect on binge drinking, but there’s no reason to have it at 21. Just make it 18 like everything else.

  6. maxliving

    I don’t think lowering the drinking age will have much effect on binge drinking, but there’s no reason to have it at 21. Just make it 18 like everything else.

  7. Anonymous

    I’d say if you’re deemed old enough, at the age of 18 to go out and die “for your country,” that you should be considered old enough to imbibe alcohol.

  8. Anonymous

    I’d say if you’re deemed old enough, at the age of 18 to go out and die “for your country,” that you should be considered old enough to imbibe alcohol.

  9. Mad Joy

    I think more education needs to be provided on responsible drinking for those who do choose to drink in college. Unfortunately, it’s hard to promote *responsible* drinking when you can’t even acknowledge that underage students are drinking at all. 18-year-olds are old enough to make responsible decisions. They don’t, always, but neither do 21-year-olds. If someone is driving drunk, or hazing other people to drink, get hir in jail, because these activities hurt other people; if they’re having a couple of drinks with friends at a party to unwind on the weekend, it’s ridiculous that this is illegal.

  10. Mad Joy

    I think more education needs to be provided on responsible drinking for those who do choose to drink in college. Unfortunately, it’s hard to promote *responsible* drinking when you can’t even acknowledge that underage students are drinking at all. 18-year-olds are old enough to make responsible decisions. They don’t, always, but neither do 21-year-olds. If someone is driving drunk, or hazing other people to drink, get hir in jail, because these activities hurt other people; if they’re having a couple of drinks with friends at a party to unwind on the weekend, it’s ridiculous that this is illegal.

  11. Molly

    I feel like the drinking culture would mostly remain the same either way. The kids who want to binge drink are going to find a way to binge drink. But this is why I am for lowering the drinking age. There’s no use in arresting kids for possession of alcohol and throwing them in jail. If it’s a nonviolent crime, keep them out of jail.I realize that jail is usually not a first punishment, but there are much more constructive things that police can/should be worried about.

  12. Molly

    I feel like the drinking culture would mostly remain the same either way. The kids who want to binge drink are going to find a way to binge drink. But this is why I am for lowering the drinking age. There’s no use in arresting kids for possession of alcohol and throwing them in jail. If it’s a nonviolent crime, keep them out of jail.

    I realize that jail is usually not a first punishment, but there are much more constructive things that police can/should be worried about.

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