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Added By: Alex
Added on: 07/01/2008 @ 1:06:26 PM
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Minimum drinking age

Tomorrow's study? Banning all traffic from the road leads to major decrease in car accident fatalities!
View External Link [news.yahoo.com]
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
07/01/2008 @ 01:16:15 PM
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I think it's good to have the drinking age at 21. I mostly skimmed the article, but I don't have a hard time believing it keeps the drunk driving accident numbers down.

I know people like to talk about how at 18 you're able to do just about everything else, including go into the military and all that, but those arguments aren't completely convincing to me. We have age limits for things depending on what they are. An 18 year old can't be president or even a congressperson. It's too big a responsibility. Alcohol might very well be too big of a responsibility for this country's teenagers. It sure seems like it a lot of times.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
07/01/2008 @ 01:24:27 PM
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I guess the point I want to make is that the fact that it reduces accidents and fatalities should be more or less irrelevant to whether the minimum age should be changed or not. If you ban alcohol all together it will reduce accidents too. If you lower the drinking age to 16 then there will be even more accidents than when it was 18.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
07/01/2008 @ 02:11:06 PM
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The article hinted at this, but there have been other changes, like 25 years worth of technological advancements in auto safety, that intertwines with this data.

You could make a case that making an activity illegal forces the activity underground, thereby making it more dangerous than just legalizing it would be. If kids could drink at bars they wouldn't have to drive to the middle of no where to have a party that wont be busted, or better yet, they could just stay home or at the very least be where someone responsible is there, and wouldn't be afraid to call their parents for a ride. In other words, the increase in (reported) amounts of drinking once it was legal might be offset by the same people that would already be doing it doing it more responsibly by default. Though I don't think situations like this account for most of the accidents, it's a factor you can't ignore altogether either. There are very few losers like me who actually waited until 21 to drink because that's the legal age. (Though to be fair, I also don't get what the big deal about drinking is, and would prefer to save my money and have a quiet, coherent, conversation somewhere that I wont be smelling like for the next week.) At a certain point there's something to be said for being realistic and relaxing the rules a bit to allow a group that wasn't playing by any rules at all in, so from that point on at least they're being governed by the more important ones.

It's often said that countries in Europe have very low drinking ages and don't have problems, but I don't think it's an apples to apples comparison since we do much more driving, and have also embraced drinking to a larger extreme. In other areas you go places and have drinks, here we go places to drink. It's the main activity.

Edit: That said, I don't really care. 21 seems like a decent age to have it. I've said the "at 18 you're able to do just about everything else, including go into the military and all that" comment before, but it's just as much a commentary on those other things as it is about the drinking age. I think 18 would be ok, I'd worry about anything below 16.
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Jeremy messed with this 6 times, last at 07/01/2008 2:33:16 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
07/01/2008 @ 09:27:24 PM
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Maybe there should be a maximum drinking age too:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080702/ap_on_fe_st/store_crash
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - "If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style."
07/02/2008 @ 08:51:09 AM
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I used to say, "If a person is old enough to put his/her life on the line to go to war/be a cop/fight fires/drive an ambulance they should be able to drink in a bar or at home with their friends." I don't say it anymore, partially because I'm old and I hate young people.

Kidding, but I truly think 85% 18-20 year olds are too immature to handle anything like that.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
07/02/2008 @ 09:35:05 AM
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Yeah, I hinted at it before, and though it would be tough since high school ends around 18 and not everyone is college bound I almost feel like 18 is too young for making decisions like going to war and whatnot. You sort of have no idea what you want to be or who you are at 18.

Your comment reminded me of a quote that I read once, though I can't find it again. It was in some article about abstinence only education I think. It was something like "Almost every teenager drinks and has sex then grows up to be an adult that forgets almost every teenager drinks and has sex."

I thought that was pithy, though I don't think the drinking and having sex were, necessarily, related.
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2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
07/02/2008 @ 01:16:32 PM
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It seems like the unstated assumption is that people are at some point old enough to be mature and make good solid life changing decisions. I would argue that's not necessarily true anyway.
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
07/02/2008 @ 01:18:23 PM
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Alex Wrote - 07/02/2008 @ 01:16:32 PM
It seems like the unstated assumption is that people are at some point old enough to be mature and make good solid life changing decisions. I would argue that's not necessarily true anyway.


It's not a line where they become mature when they wouldn't have otherwise been, it's that they are more likely to be more mature (compared to their younger selves) as they age. I think that's a decent assumption.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
07/02/2008 @ 01:33:50 PM
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Well, it's not like they can interview every person. Some people are mature 17 year olds, others are immature 25 year olds. We still have to draw the line somewhere where we feel society on the average is mature enough.

It's like BMI. Though BMI does likely need to be adjusted since people are taller now then they used to be, the typical slams against it aren't valid because its intent isn't to evaluate individuals, it was meant to be a rule of thumb to judge a population by.
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avatar2345.jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
07/03/2008 @ 05:47:13 PM
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They should ban alcohol.
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PackOne screwed with this at 07/03/2008 5:47:37 pm
images.jpgcraig - 131 Posts
07/04/2008 @ 11:27:05 PM
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No, they should ban stupidity. Alcohol doesn't kill anyone, unless it's mixed with a liberal dose of stupidity.
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flower .jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
07/05/2008 @ 02:33:17 PM
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I would say the former breeds the latter, most if not all of the time.
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