Many a scientific study has confirmed that drinking alcohol impairs judgment. Never has this been more evident than in the recent urging by many a college president to bring the issue of the current drinking age to the table for debate. Those in college to study genetics might want to look into the number of people whose parents are glassmakers, as the arguments for lowering the drinking age are transparent.
Some of the reasons for lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 sound like they came straight out of a frat party. Duke University sophomore Moana Jagasia says, “If the age is younger, you're getting exposed to it at a younger age, and you don't freak out when you get to campus."
Those raised with alcohol awareness do not “freak out” over alcohol. Anyone who would freak out over alcohol at age 21 would just as likely freak out at 18. It’s a shame more parents didn't raise their children with more sensibility and responsibility with regard to alcohol, but since they didn’t, do we really think lack of exposure, sense, and responsibility about alcohol before age 21 should be rewarded with alcohol at age 18?
Many cite the rights of 18-year-olds to vote and enlist in the military as a basis for arguing for a lower drinking age. If your true and sincere issue is with the privileges you think your age should bring, then your fervor begs the questions: Why only alcohol? Why aren't you up in arms about how old you have to be to rent a car, enjoy lower insurance rates, or even run for president? Why no fervor across the board?
Using the age of military enlistment as an argument for lowering the drinking age is especially interesting when one considers the number of college students who have or will join the military. It’s a good bet there are more wanting to drink until 5am than there are those who want to wake up at 5am and run three miles. When the extent to which you exhibit civic mindedness is limited to getting the drinking age lowered, you’d do well to leave those who are considerably more civic minded out of your argument.
This author — an adult, parent, and responsible consumer of alcohol — has always been in favor of raising the legal age for anything (driver’s licenses, alcohol purchase, military enlistment, and voting) to 25. I’m not alone in this thinking, as evidenced by the age minimums of rental car companies, car insurance companies, and our very own constitution.
The most curious desire to lower the drinking age is the concern over binge drinking, that somehow the law (not the person) is to blame for the frequent and often dangerous consumption of alcohol by many of today’s college youth. Take note young'uns: if you blame the law (or anyone or anything else) for your behavior instead of taking responsibility for your choices, consuming alcohol is not the only — or even the most important — thing you should be denied.