Buying booze at 18?

August 20, 2008
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College presidents around the country have come together to unite against binge drinking on campuses. They aren’t working together to develop and implement programs to educate high school and college students about the dangers of binge drinking. They aren’t going to the students’ parents asking them to talk to their kids about drinking.

The higher-ups at the universities want lawmakers to fix the problem.

College leaders have signed a letter asking lawmakers to make it legal for 18-year-olds to drink.

The problem isn’t the age of the students; it’s the attitudes of the students and their parents. Lawmakers could lower the drinking age to 16 or raise it to 30, and teens who want to drink will still find a way to do it. Does it make it right? No, of course not, but it’s a reality that everyone who has ever been to high school and college is aware of.

Instead of curbing the problem of binge drinking in college, it will magnify the issue even more in high school. Eighteen-year-old seniors will be able to buy booze and get it to their younger classmates even easier than finding an older sibling or adult to buy the alcohol for them. Some high school students drink. Some parents even let their kids drink at home.

And that’s the problem.

If colleges and university want to curb binge drinking, reach out to high school parents. Parents can talk to their kids before and while they are in high school and let them know it’s not OK to drink right now and it’s never OK to drink and drive. Being observant of your kids and knowing who they hang out with and what they do on the weekends can help tackle the problem more than lowering the legal drinking age.

Teens love the freedom college gives them – they can stay out late, eat whatever they want, hang out with whomever they want, and they don’t have to come home to mom and dad’s house. But if mom and dad taught Junior the dangers of drinking – especially binge drinking – maybe he will think twice before he bongs his fifth beer. Educating kids at an earlier age and expecting more parental responsibility will help curb binge drinking more so than lowering the legal drinking age.
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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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