Day: August 23, 2008

Abolish the drinking age

There’s a movement, called the “Amethyst Initiative”:, to have a national discussion on lowering the drinking age to 18. They understand that a 21 year-old drinking age just doesn’t work and is “supported”: by universities across the country. It’ll never pass in America because America has a culture of governmental parenting rather than information, education and responsible parenting. I wonder how many parents tell their kids not to drink “Because you’re not allowed to” rather than “Because it’s dangerous and must be done responsibly”.

I’m not just for lowering it to 18, I think it should be abolished altogether. Half the fun of under-age drinking is that you’re not allowed to do it. Take that away and there’s little incentive to drink as a kid. In Europe, most countries have no drinking age and when you go to pubs, there aren’t any kids in them, in my experience. Drinking just isn’t “cool” to kids in Europe as it is in America. I think that’s because of the existence of a drinking age in America, not in spite of it.

Smells like daddy

We will allow our kids to drink beer and wine in our home and we’ll educate them on it and, hopefully, demonstrate that moderation is a requirement. I think when they are teenagers and their friends are trying to get alcohol (and they will succeed regardless of the number of laws in place), our kids won’t think it’s that exciting because they know what it’s like. And more importantly, they will know when enough is enough and won’t feel the need to get completely “blotto”: If they can survive the teenage years with an intelligent and mature understanding of alcohol, they’ll be far better at surviving the years after they turn 21 when the government says “Drink all you want!”. We better have taught them correctly by the time they’re 21, because by then, we will have little influence or control on their behavior.