Friday, March 28, 2008

Raising the Drinking Age to 21Will Not Reduce Teen Alcohol Consumption or Car Accidents

A London (Ontario) health unit wants to raise the drinking age to 21:

A local health unit in London, Ont., has narrowly approved a resolution calling on the provincial government to raise the minimum drinking age from 19 to 21.

The Middlesex-London health board voted 4-3 in favour of the resolution, which its proponents say would significantly reduce alcohol consumption by teenagers and result in fewer motor vehicle collisions involving young drivers.


How about lowering the drinking age to 16 and raising the driving age to 18? Kids are going to drink when their 16 anyway. It is a lot easier to get access to booze than get access to a car. Kids will do their experimentation will alcohol no matter what the drinking age is. Teens learn their limits and after a few years the majority grow out of it. (Those who don't join law or engineering programs in university *wink*). I stopped binge drinking and began social drinking around second year of university. I just bought my first car at 23 years old, and never drink more than one drink if I know I have to drive home. I'm often the DD and I don't mind. I no longer see the need to go out and get loaded on the weekends.

By raising the drinking age, but keeping driving at 16 years old you're not reducing the number of collisions involving young drivers. Young drivers get into more accidents because of inexperience. So raising the driving age to 18 may not be a good solution either, as they will still be inexperienced.

I say let's lower, not raise the drinking age. Kids will learn to drink responsibly earlier. It seems to work in Europe. But I don't claim to be an expert in this, but some of it is common sense.

11 Comments:

Anonymous  said...

Eighteen, 19, and 20 year olds are adults. They are not kids. If we raise the drinking age, we are trying to stop adults from drinking.

Fri Mar 28, 04:10:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Ruth said...

I say enforce the laws we have now and there wouldn't be a problem. There are parties every weekend with Grade 9's, fourteen year olds and they aren't drinking pop at them. As long as the parents are willing to provide, the kids will drink.

Fri Mar 28, 04:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you look at all the answers the Schools have for drugs and sex we would conclude that the Politicians and Teachers Unions would want the drinking age dropped to 16 to control it in the Schools because kids are drinking already and the school would be a safe-drinking centre , then they would raise the driving age to 19 so no kid in high school would have the chance to drive a car and get injuried.

Parents would actually have to get closer to the teens by driving them everywhere and the Taxi business would take-off as well , plus Cops would know that any kid driving a car is either young looking for their age or the car is Stolen .
Insurance rates would go down
and by the time the teens reach 19 they may be out of the house and not considered a second driver in the Home for the Policy rules.

Fri Mar 28, 05:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a stupid idea...let's teach our kids that booze is no big deal. Seems to work in Italy and most other countries around the world where you can buy hard liquor at the corner store. They also have very low drunk rates.

I used to have watered down wine at home with my meals (wine and ginger ale) when I was about 9 years old. My parents used alcohol to get rid of our colds and for celebrations. We were surrounded by alcohol at home and around our extended family and no one was ever filthy drunk. Tipsy quite often, yes.

I taught my children to drink responsibly as children. We also used to buy an 18 pack for the kids (nephew and nieces) when we had a family gathering. No big deal. The kids got tipsy, so what. Today they have a drink a week and wine occasionally. Drinking is no big deal for them. They don't even go to pubs that often.

So, let's stop this waste of time and money enforcing the negative and start teaching our children responsibility at an early age.

Fri Mar 28, 06:59:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the McGoofy governmnet attacking drivers, this may have a fighting chance. Very sad.

Fri Mar 28, 07:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jarrett said...

Lowering the drinking age is a bad idea if only because science has shown that drinking in kids (IE below 18 or 19) results in not insignificant brain damage. Can't we just lower the age at which kids can buy porn to, say, 15?

Sat Mar 29, 10:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jarrett said...

Hey, wait a sec! I totally didn't read this one the first time:

Teens learn their limits and after a few years the majority grow out of it. (Those who don't join law or engineering programs in university *wink*)

This is unfair! This is unfair! You do not know what you speak about! Do you think it's easy to make priorities!?

Wikipedia has multiple definitions of binge drinking, including

-For men, at least 5 drinks on one occasion and for women, 4;
-Heavy drinking over one evening;
-Two days of inebriation leading to a neglect of ordinary duties and responsibilities.

The definition has a huge influence on whether or not us poor law students would be classified as binge drinkers. By one definition I'm an alcoholic certain weeks of the year thanks to the generosity of law firms, and by others I'm not a binge drinker at all. I'll have you know I never missed a class due to alcohol consumption, regardless of multiple events sponsored by law firms or thanks to some crazy night of Canto-pop karaoke or a (licensed) poker game at the law school or whatever the hell else I was doing that night.

Besides, certain traditions at UBC Law require the rapid consumption of at least 5 beers on an occasion in conjunction with the racing of miniature tricycles.

Dulce et decorum est pro officium bibo ad crapula. Volenti non fit injuria.

...

I'm NOT a drunk!

Sun Mar 30, 06:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Spitfire said...

Mé,

Funny, you can serve your country, get married, and vote at 18, but can't drink until 19. Makes no sense to me!

Ruth,

It's not just parents who provide, but older siblings, or older friends. I had a fake ID, so I was the 'buyer' for my friends when we were 17, 18.

The kids are starting earlier these days, I didn't have my first sip until 15 (grade 10).

Anon,

Thanks for sharing your personal experience. It's true that when something is forbidden the natural teenage (and human) reaction is to want it even more. It started with the forbidden fruit and it continues today with infidelity. We want what is forbidden, natural reaction. So if we make booze not to be a big deal, like they do in Europe, perhaps we will raise kids who will not abuse alcohol (binge drinking etc...)

Jarrett,

Good point. I vaguely remember an After-school special when I was growing up about taking a group of teens who drink in excess and showing them what it does to their brain and do brain scans on them. It also put them through their own funeral (with their parents present) when they drink and drive. Pretty real stuff.

Lol, the poke of fun was merely because of our conversations the past week...or my conversation and your slurring ;);) lol

Mon Mar 31, 10:49:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jarrett said...

Not true! I was only having difficulty typing without typos, but I still managed not to. I wasn't slurring my speech, and from your end you were in no position to judge anyway! ;) I was using no microphone on MSN!

Mon Mar 31, 08:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Spitfire said...

Hammer!

PLEASE STOP SPAMMING ME

Sat Apr 05, 06:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger HammertimeGP said...

http://www.hammertimegp.blogspot.com

Sat Apr 05, 06:42:00 PM EDT  

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