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August 31st, 2009
08:39 AM ET

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18?

As you know, the legal drinking age is currently 21. But some public officials are now supporting a movement to drop the age to 18. They say underage students tend to drink more, in off-campus settings – because of the law. What do you think? Should the drinking age be lowered to 18? Send Heidi your comments and she might read them on the air during the 9am and 10am ET hours of CNN Newsroom.


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (462 Responses)
  1. Sally

    It should definitely be lowered. People can get married and fight for their country. Why shouldn't they be able to drink?

    August 31, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  2. George Lloyd

    ah, NO!!! What we need is additional legislation restricting the use of alcohol for others. Prohibition didn't and never will work. However, the fewer people with access to alcohol will create fewer drunks and alcoholics. The last place we should encourage drinking is in our young people.
    Public officials are looking for additional revenue sources by allowing millions of teenagers easy and legal access to a product that is harmful and dangerous to knowledgeable and mature adults and downright lethal to ignorant, peer influenced, and just plain stupid kids who have not lived enough to recognize the frailty of life, (theirs and the innocent millions that surround them).
    There is enough misery created by the current crop of alcohol users in our country, let us not add more, please.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  3. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Raising the drinking age is a ploy by the government to bring in more federal money's they should also leagellize marajuana because there fooling themselves if they think that there stopping any body from doing either of these drugs and while there at it they need to bring back drive in theaters so people can have fun sneeking in.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  4. Chris

    I don't really see why the legal drinking age was ever raised to 21. I recently turned 21 and it didn't change my views or perspective on drinking at all.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  5. Zachary Campion

    The problem isn't the age people can drink. An 18 year old will drink like an 18 year old. A 21 year old will drink like a 21 year old. The problem is the way Americans view and treat alcohol. It is a highly (arguable) controlled substance, so naturally people will want it more. When we stop putting it on a pedestal (i.e such a high drinking age) it might ease some of the social pressure surrounding it. I am a 21 year old student at a university and I can honestly say I have done most of my drinking both underage and at fellow student's houses.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  6. james

    no i do not think so. Alcohol is a drug and it damages you liver. If you cut down the age to 18 more will start drinking.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  7. Alexander Kirkpatrick

    Dont lower the age, in Scotland our age limit for drinking alchohol is 18 but all that is happening is that 12 yr olds upwards are drinking. Binge drinking is costing us the taxpayers millions of pound's every year and is now out of control. But you should make an exception for your brave troops they deserve more than a beer!

    August 31, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  8. Brittany

    We can fight for our country and vote for our president at 18, but we can't have a beer? Where's the sense in that?

    August 31, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  9. Hillary

    Yes, I believe that the legal age should be lowered to 18. By lowering the drinking age it will remove the appeal to drink to young people. In many european nations they do not have the problems with drinking that our youth does and their drinking age is much lower than ours.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  10. Chris

    lets look at the facts: you can drive a car, vote in all elections, get married, have children, fight in a war, gamble, but NOT have a beer until your 21. Yes it should be lowered, its rediculous to have it at 21. People aren't going to abuse it......look at every other country in the world.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  11. Mendez

    Not evey 18 year old is serving in the Armed forces. No way keep it the same.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  12. Silas rogers

    It should definitely be lowered. if you can go to war you should be able to drink.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  13. John A Babitskas in Atlanta

    If they are old enough to die for our country, they are old enough to drink. The U.S. Government say's they are mature enough to sign and die, Give them a Bud, PLEASE.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  14. Matt

    Matt from Va.

    ABSOLUTELY NOT heidi, other countries have lower drinking ages because in those countries children are brought up around alcohol and so they know their limits, 18 year olds are NOT mature enough to legally drink, the 3 years between 18 and 21 is a valuable time for them to learn about alcohol in the college setting. Unless we change our society to one that accepts younger children being allowed to be around alcohol then we should keep the age at 21

    August 31, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  15. Natalia

    I am not an advocate for excess, but I think if young men and women under the age of 21 can legally get married and can go and fight on the front lines for our country then they should be able to consume alcohol.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  16. Vealton

    Absolutely not, actually I think it should be raised to 25. Their is too many young men and women that are irresponsible ie. drinking and driving now at the legal age of 21 it would be worst if it was to be lowered to 18.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  17. Tony

    The drinking age of 21 punishes responsible adults.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  18. Houston Hughes

    Once kids go off to college, it's impossible to keep them from drinking. Alcohol will always be readily available in college, so why not let college students try it and learn responsibility on their own? In fact, if the legal age is lowered to 18, many students would still be living at home when they first could legally drink, which would allow their parents to help teach them how to enjoy alcohol responsibly.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  19. Monica

    I am a college student who is about to turn 21. I feel that the drinking age should be lower but I don't think it should go to 18, but 19. There are too many students that turn 18 in high school and I think that could cause too many problems for high schools. AT 19 most people are out of high school and into college, where drinking I think would not be as big of a problem because it will no longer be taboo.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  20. Flagrante Delicto

    Alcohol is a drug, albeit a legal one. Did you know that the alcohol industry spends $650 billion dollars per year on advertising worldwide? Where is the shared responsibility for the tens of thousands of lifes lost every year to alohol related deaths?

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  21. J.R. Davidson

    The drinking age should not be lowered. As an 18 year old college student, I see enough obnoxious drunk people as it is.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  22. Ernesto

    I recently turned 21 and i don't think it should be lowered for the entire country.
    At least in the military it should be legal for people at the age of 18 to drink. To give up so much freedom you should get something back. This comment comes from experience

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  23. Jeremy

    I don't believe that the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18 because this would cause more and more drunk driving incidents. Plus, some people would want to take advantage of the new law.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  24. jimmy painter

    Lowering the drinking age to 18 would be a collosal mistake. Is congress forgetting that high school seniors are 18? Are we really going to enable highschoolers the ability to drink alcohol and throw parties? That's very irresponsible. Think how easy it is in college for freshman to get juniors to buy them alcohol. It would be easy for younger highschoolers to get alcohol from their friends.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  25. Jessica Rathmann

    At first, you think NO WAY! But once you really think about it, if we'd been able to drink at 18, maybe we would have gotten all that ridiculous binging behavior out of us by the time we were 21 (you can't survive on alcohol and no sleep for very long)! This could potentially be a way that teenagers can become fully functional adults, with responsibilities and consequences, sooner than later. What's that 20/20 hindsight saying again?

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  26. Dan

    The drinking age should DEFINITELY not be lowered. Alcohol abuse is far too prevalent among young people already and every year many underage drinkers die from alcohol poisoning and alcohol related accidents. 18 is a very irresponsible age and if we were to lower the drinking age, this would only make alcohol more accessible and society would be sending a signal that drinking is acceptable. It is not.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  27. Billy R

    Of course the age should be lowered to 18. Eighteen year olds are considered adults for everything else. .contracts, voting, evening DYING for our country. . the gov't intrudes too much in our lives now. There are many irresponsible 40 and 50 year olds.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  28. Rich

    Given the incredible lack of responsibility that the young people are displaying today, I think anything that can keep them away from alcohol and a steering wheel is absolutely needed and the longer the better.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  29. NJBOOMER

    Yes, the drinking age should be lowered and drugs should be legalized. We have spent billions over the years defending these laws, to no avail because you cannot legislate people's behavior.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  30. Cody

    People commonly confuse making the drinking age 21 equivalent with preventing underage drinking. The two are far from the same thing. As a college student I have found that all the drinking age has done is sweep underage drinking into the dark. What was once drinking at campus pubs with professors has turned into rampant binge drinking. Things are more dangerous now than ever.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  31. Greg S

    We can argue about drunk driving and binge drinking statistics all day. What it all comes down to is having laws that make sense and the 21 year old drinking does not make sense. I have a friend who served on a jury for a murder trial but cannot legally have a drink. My younger sister is joining the Navy to defend this country but cannot legally have a drink. It does not make sense to give these powers to 18-20 year olds but still prohibit them from drinking.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  32. nick

    i think it should because most college students will drink anyways.
    you arent going to be able to stop it. its like cancer. it spreads to the incoming freshman every year.

    btw im 17 and am going to go to a community college for the first 2 years anyway. if i wanted, im sure i could go to a good 4 year college, but it is more economical to go to a comunity college for the first 2 years.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  33. christine sbragia

    I feel if these kids are old enough to fight in wars and lose their lives for us, they are old enough to drink.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  34. Billy

    No, it should NOT be lowered. At the legal age of 21, 99% of 18 year olds drink and law enforcement, schools and parents do nothing to limit it. IF the legal age were lowered to 18 then the same thing would be happening with all the 15 year olds. I've seen too many deaths at colleges where 18-20 year old students died in fires where smoke alarms were sounding but the kids were too drunk to hear them.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  35. brad ascalon

    I used to think that if our country could ship 18 year olds off to war, then those same 18 year olds should be able to have a drink. But as I get older and I realize how glutenous and excessive our country is, I think its best to keep things as they are. We're not Europe. Our younger members of society don't have a responsible mindset when it comes to many things, let alone alcohol.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  36. mike02840

    Reducing the drinking age is only a small piece of the HUGE overall picture. Reducing the drinking would take some of the "coolness" factor and mystification out of alcohol but parents need to be more proactive with their children and explain and teach them what alcohol is all about. Parents need to explain when and why responsible people drink and how much is a responsible amount and lead by example. It's the constant badgering of society telling kids they can't drink and then the hippocracy of those same people turning around and drinking, some irresponsibly.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  37. Evan A.

    It should be 18! if you can die for your country and have children and a spose you can drink any day in my book.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  38. Isabel Feinberg

    No. The legal age should be left at 21 yrs. old.
    An 18 year old is much more immature and will more than likely abuse their privilege in many ways. i.e. driving, sharing with minors,
    etc.
    Thank You for allowing me to share my thoughts.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  39. Bubs

    Of course it should be lowered. You can vote and die for your country, but you cannot have a drink with your parents! Everyone does it anyway and it makes "most" young adults criminals. The drinking age should never have been lowered in the first place. The federal government forced the states to change the drinking age by taking away federal highway funds. Many of these states would have never lowered it , but needed the highway funds.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  40. Vinny B

    Heidi,
    I grew up in Germany (army brat), where the drinking age was 16. And I can tell you that lowering the driniking age would and can work, if the government takes the right steps. First – Raise the driving age to 18. IMHO I think that lowering the drinking age, and raising the driving age would give the kids a chance to get it out of their system while they're still young, so by the time they finally get to drive, they're already done with their party lifestyle. Second – invest in better public transportation that runs as late as bars and clubs stay open. If there was decent public transportation that ran more regularly and later, people in general would be less likely to drink and drive. Now I'm not saying that this would work right away, but given time, I think it would.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  41. Joey

    It will not make a difference if you lower the age or not. we know of many instances when people under the legal drinking age are bringing alchoholic drinks to parties. Lowering it to 18 just means that teens will get an early start on the substance, and hopefully get it out of their system before they are old enough to get a drivers licence, because thats when the trouble begins. My uncle went to various AA meetings and one of the fellow drinkers at the meetings was a 13 year old boy.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  42. Linda Neil

    I hope this is not something an acohol beverage company has actually spearheaded and only a topic for discussion!
    I have twin 14 year old boys who have just begun their freshman year of high school, sports and higher academics. I cannot imagine allowing anyone under the age of 21 to drink anything that would impair their ability to succeed! It could only be corporate greed that would lower a drinking age to 18. Sorry, but I can't think of ONE single thing that would improve our country by doing this, unless of course I owned Coors!
    Respectfully,
    Linda Neil
    Lake Tahoe, NV

    August 31, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  43. Trish Stelten

    The Milatary age of 18, assumes that you are old enough to defend our country with arms in hand. I suggest that we should also then assume you are old enough to make a decision about responsible drinking.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  44. brett

    Old enough to fight and die for their country. Old enough to raise a family. Old enough to pay taxes. Not old enough to drink a beer. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should be taken into effect in this situation.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  45. Adam

    No!! If the drinking age is lowered there will be more deaths in young teenagers than there already is because they know this time it is ok to drink. There is already a high related death amongs teenagers for drinking and the age limit is 21. Just think of what will happen when it goes down. If anything it needs to go up. People say that it is a controlled substance well what people don't think about or realize is that alcohol is a man made substance and it was man that messed everything up for us. Please don't let this happen.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  46. Katie

    If someone can die for their country at 18, buy cigarettes at 18, then why not drink at 18? If we can teach our children respect for alcohol and drinking responsibly, then there would be no problem with allowing drinking at 18. We have to teach them no only with words, but with our actions as well... can we handle that?

    August 31, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  47. Jonathan

    I used to live in Montreal where the dtrinking age was 18. I now live in the U.S. From Bartending in both countries I have noticed a signifigant difference in the way alcohol is used. When the drinking age is 18 it becomes much more accessible yet it is not put on a pedestal. kids learn from a younger age responsibility. There is a lot less binge drinking because they can get it responsibly where others are around. This eliminates the house and dorm parties where underagers go nuts for the stuff and end up either alcoholics or in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. The common argument of if you can die for your country can you not enjoy a beer?

    August 31, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  48. Julian

    if the legal drinking age lowers to 18 the same amount of people are still going to drink, if we legalize marijuana the same amount of people are still going to smoke. i think the debate here is when out brains reach full maturity, but i believe if i'm old enough to live on my own, get married, and join the military and die for my country my brain is capable of making mature desicions and i should be able to drink

    August 31, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  49. Jack Gleason

    No, no, no, never. That's all we need more college kids binge drinking. Booze and illegal drugs cause more trouble to this nation than smoking. Yet the media tells us to quit smoking. I never hear anything on the news about, "quit drinking or quit taking drugs."

    August 31, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  50. Andrew F

    I think the drinking age should be lowered to 18. If college aged students are old enough to fight for their country and become a true "adult" at 18, then they should have the right to order an alcoholic beverage. This would also reduce the amount of tickets and fines handed out to underage drinkers by campus police officers around the college campuses, which would help many students save money in this harsh economic time.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  51. Shelby Olivier

    The Europeans had it right in the drinking department, I think we should follow them by lowering our drinking age to 18. As a brand new freshman in college, I do not feel obligated to go binge drink during the "welcome week" festivities. I have been casually drinking alcohol under the supervision of my parents at dinners and family gatherings. A glass of wine or a bit of champagne here and there is nothing more than a casualty to me. My parents have been allowing this since I turned 16 (of course controlling my portions). They did it when they were younger too.
    You can imagine my frustration when, early yesterday morning, I received a call from the community hospital telling me to pick up my roommate who was being discharged from the emergency room. She was taken in by an ambulance and admitted for alcohol poisoning. This happens somewhat frequently across the U.S and most of the time it's freshman. Why? Because this "freedom" they have of being away from mom and dad is almost too much to handle they just go crazy.
    By lowering the drinking age it may make the need for binge drinking appear less tempting, however if this were to happen I think the first few weeks might be out of control for 18-20 year olds who suddenly have legal access to as much alcohol as they want. It would definitely be a transition.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  52. Deb DuBois

    My suggestion is to allow 18+ to drink in bars and resturants but leave the age at 21 to purchase from stores. This would help in the reduction of 18 year olds purchasing for minors. I just dropped my 18 year old off for her first year of college. At orentiation we were told 85% of all students drink so it isn't being stopped anyway. It may also help reduce bing drinking at house parties if they had a public place to hang out and most 18 year old don't have enough excess cash to get loaded at a bar.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  53. ben

    yes, the legal age should be 18. I was drinking at my leisure when I was 16 with the laws as they are anyway. No more 18 year-olds would drink than already do. The main difference is that they would no longer have to hide it, and therefore this would create a "safer" drinking environment. It is ridiculous to be a "legal" adult, pay rent, owe debts, have children and a spouse, but you can't legally drink a beer or glass of wine????

    August 31, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  54. Ken Weaver

    I believe the legal drinking age should be lowered, but 18 is too low. By 19, most people have completed high school and have begun drinking anyway. The main concern seems to be drunk driving. Anyone 19 or 20 who drives while legally drunk should have their license suspended, on the first offense, for two full years. Nineteen and 20-year olds should be permitted to drink, but not to drink and drive!

    August 31, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  55. melissa

    i think it should be lowered. By the time an individual reaches 18, they are either already drinking or they have made their decisions not to. We have very strict drinking and driving laws and as long as the education in our schools continue to inform children at an early age, 18 is old enough. Again, if a person is old enough to get married, go to college, or go to war they should be allowed to purchase alcohol

    August 31, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  56. Kevin

    I lived in a midwest college town when the drinking age switched from 18 to 21. The results were disastrous. Not only did the law fail to reduce drinking, young adults drank more irresponsibly, disrupted more neighborhoods with more private parties, and committed more vandalism. Not to mention the fact that it is blatant age discrimination. Instead we should expect adults to behave as adults, and stop trying to prolong the teenage experience.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  57. Ryan

    There's not a country in the world that has a problem with an 18 year old drinking age. Controlling the drinking age causes rebellion and binge drinking among young adults.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  58. Garrett

    I 100% feel the drinking age needs to be lowered in our country so that our young adults are exposed to drinking legally while still living at home. Many of my international friends, including my roommate from Spain are exposed to drinking very young. She remembers drinking at the age of 12 and it was normal to have a glass of wine at dinner. Getting drunk is seen as immature when she goes clubbing in Spain, whereas here it is a normal night out in college. I think we shelter our kids too much in this country and try to keep them young for as long as we can, which I believe is backfiring on us with the binge drinking issue.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  59. Tiffany Richter

    Well no matter what the drinking age is kids younger are still drinking. If the drinking age is going to be lowered I believe that the driving age should be raised to 18 or even older.In Europe you are able to drink at 16 but you are not allowed to drive till you are 18. The US has more fatalities than they do in Europe. But if we lower the drinking age to 18 everyone needs to prepare themselves for even younger kids to try to drink. Before lowering the age this needs to completely be thought through carefully.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  60. JimmyB Denver

    It seems to me that what we should try to inhibit is alcohol abuse. Instead we adopt the lazy approach of making any use illegal. Lower the age? No. Eliminate the age. It's arbitrary and serves little purpose in an effort to educate people of the dangers of alcohol abuse – and the promotion of responsible personal habits. If we can't get to that – then 18 makes the most sense. Imagine how much easier the job of the ATF would be if they only had to focus on one age. Also – the marketing efforts of cigarette makers, gun makers and alcohol producers could be combined and targeted to just the one demographic.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  61. Sam Hedman

    Lower the drinking age to 18 AND raise the driving age to 21.. It will solve a lot of problems... SH

    August 31, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  62. Christine M

    I do not drink or use drugs. However, as a former educator, I know that part of the binge drinking problem among college age students is probably caused by this form of prohibition. A more relaxed and pragmatic approach to drinking would likely take the "rebellion" factor out of the binge drinking population. AND, if these young people are old enough to die for their country and vote, they are old enough to face the decisions and responsibilities regarding their use of alcohol,

    August 31, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  63. Jon

    No. The driking age set at 21 years of age has worked very well keeping young adults from drving while drunk. Why change a law that works compared to risking lives for a new law for lowering the drinking age to 18? Let's keep it at 21.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  64. Dmac

    Yes. The exclusivity of alcohol, due to it's restriction, is a major cause of binge drinking in college. Just like starting school earlier and learning to drive earlier make smarter kids and better drivers – learning to drink responsibly in a safe and controlled environment can create adults who drink responsibly and safely.

    Instead of the current system where high school and sub-21 yr old college kids drink as much as they can at each sitting because they don't know where thir next drink might come from.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  65. The Chip Hits the Fan

    An Interesting debate Heidi,
    while some of the constituents have good ground when sighting the whole military and voting thing, I believe that a careful view of drunk driving statistics should be considered concerning age groups 24 and under. It strikes me as funny how the country might get on board with a consideration like this but scoff at the legalization of pot. Has this issue been raised (again) because of potential tax revenue? It is a hard thought to escape.
    Regards,
    C.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  66. Charles

    It is a well-known fact that people under the age of 21 drink. That being said with the drinking age set as it is, most of the ability to purchase and distribute alcohol is located in our universities, colleges, and high school grads. I believe that if the drinking age is lowered to 18, which incorporates high school seniors, you will see a surge in high school drinking which is not what we want among our influential children. The pressures among youths in that age group are already strenuous. To add alcohol to that would be a volatile mix.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  67. Shayan Noor

    The drinking age should not be lowered, at least not to 18, simply because at 18 people are still in high school. Parents and school administrators have enough trouble as it is keeping students safe without the law putting alcohol into the hands of even some of the students. The problem would spread as well. The college junior buying his freshmen friends beer and inviting them to his keggers would turn into the high school senior doing the same for younger high school students. This is far worse, it's not a couple 18-19 year olds getting their hands on booze, which by many people's standards is ok, it's the 14-15 year olds, and that's unacceptable.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  68. amber

    Yes, it definately needs lowered. Our tax dollars and policing efforts would be better spent protecting us from serious criminal activity than busting 18 year olds trying to acclimate to the freedoms of adult hood. Prohibition didn't work and neither does the current drinking age.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  69. Rich

    No way – this is not addressing the problem just making it legal. I am convinced the public officials (all of them) could not find there rear ends with a stick and mirror.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  70. Juliet

    Yes, I think the drinking age should be lowered to 18. I come from The Netherlands, where the drinking age is 18 and can attest that there is less "binge drinking" going on there. Europeans have a more relaxed attitude about drinking. Teens drink at home with the families and learn to be more responsible about alcohol. The taboo stigma is missing. I hope that we can become more tolerant and teach teens how to drink responsibly, To ask teens to wait until twenty-one is asking for the impossible.

    Juliet G.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  71. SHANES

    There's nothing particularly glamorous or desirable about drinking. Adults frequently do not control their actions or behaviors after a few too many drinks and do untold harm to themselves and others, either accidentally or simply because their judgment was impaired further because of their alcohol intake.
    Too many public resources are already used to combat these "optional" alcohol related traumatic events, e.g. car accidents such as the mother who killed 8 including herself last week while under the influence. More seriously, how many felonies are committed under the influence? Having worked in the public sector for many years, I can tell you that "an altered state of consciousness" is almost a given before commission of a crime, and "Yes Virginia, there is such a thing as a 'gateway drug'!"
    Should impulsive adolescents be allowed to legally drink? I don't think so!

    August 31, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  72. Steve

    The drinking age should be lowered! In fact if one was to interview the president's of colleges and universities (especially private schools where the use is highest), one would find that they would agree. Students are sent off to school being told the are adults and then they have to have babysitters, Resident Assistants, to "watch" them. One could make the argument that lowering the drinking age would in turn lower the age of those who use alcohol but, students in middle school are already experimenting not only with alcohol, but other, more severe drugs. The drinking age currently takes so much away from the experience of college. Those students who want to drink will still be drinking if the age was to be lowered and those students do not want to, will not.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  73. Jon

    Underage drinking happens. I did it, as did everyone I know. Nevertheless, that doesn't make it right, and the 21 year old age limit did in fact limit the amount of illegal consumption activity. 18 is still too young for unbridled drinking, and when you mix driving in the equation, and all the morbid statistics involving teenage driving, I just couldn't support lowering the age limit.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  74. Tabatha

    Absoulity not. I think they should raise it to age 25. Bad enough we have 11 year olds having babies left and right. We do not need young children dranking and driving, dranking impairs adults judgments not alone children who still have alot to learn. If they change the age limit to 18, we will have more danger on the roads than what we have already. The government is in need for more money, so they are considering risking peoples lives. Not to note, i personally think they should change the driving age to 21.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  75. Jon

    The drinking age should either be lowered to 16 or increased to 25. Why? There are two issues at stake, both being related to health: If the larger problem is binge drinking, we need to follow Europe's lead, and lower the drinking age to 16. Typically, the longer you are allowed to do something, the better you do it and less of a big deal it is. Hence, allowing 16 year olds to drink would give them a chance to learn to drink and would take the fun out of binge drinking. If your issue is the health risks and physical maturity, we should raise the drinking age to 25. Studies and common sense have shown that, on average, the body isn't fully mature until around the age of 25. Thus, it would only make sense that the legal drinking age, should this be the larger of the two issues, should be raised to 25.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  76. Sylvester Harris

    I dont think they should lower the drinking age it does'nt make any sense.At that age theres no way you can expect them to make rational decisions,adults at 28 can barley make rational decisions under the influence.It'll just raise on campus deaths.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  77. William

    An 18 year old is considered mature enough to vote and die for their country, but not mature enough to make an intelligent decision regarding the consumption of alcohol. I believe lowering the drinking age and educating young people about the dangers excessive alcohol use can be a much more effective means of controlling alcohol abuse than prohibition.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  78. Dustin Malmstrom

    No not at all i am 21 going to be 22 in a week and i think who ever thought that idea was insane i mean look at all the trouble and addiction problems the 21 and older crowd has now "alot i no" now just imagine kids with three years less life experience being legally able to drink i strongly believe the thought alone is just ridiculous. if the legal age to drink lowers the substance abuse problems are country's working on right now will have a giant set back it should not be don no way no how thank you for letting me voice my opinion.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  79. Erik

    Drinking alcohol should be banned completely. So should smoking, eating unhealthy food, and climbing ladders. Anything that might harm us should be banned. People are stupid and need government protection. War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  80. Nate

    Yes, if you can vote, get married, drive a vehicle and fight for your country you should be legally allowed to enjoy alcohol if you so choose. You'd be a fool to think that just because the legal age is currently 21 that it stops anyone under 21 from drinking. I currently live in Germany and the legal age here is 16. If someone is going to be stupid and abuse alcohol the legal drinking age doesn't matter to them.

    Parents should be responsible enough to educate their children and not wait for the public school system or their child's friend to do the educating when it comes to things like alcohol and drugs.

    This country is full of people who think that their will should be imposed on everyone else no matter what. If you punish the masses for the mistakes of a few you don't solve the problem. Making something taboo to a young adult is like daring them to do it and many will take the challenge.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  81. Gov Employee - Southern California

    Teens are going to drink regardless of the legality. The biggest issue is that the incidences of drunk driving accidents and deaths are very high with alcohol being legal at age 21. If we lower the drinking age, my concern would be the teen drunk driving accidents and deaths would increase. 95% of all domestic violence is alcohol related.

    Remember: Alcohol and driving do not mix!!!

    Remember: Teens have much lowered impulse control than adults!

    Personally, I would like to see Alcohol illegal and Cannabis legal. This comes from working in the field since 1980 for the Federal and Local Government in drug and alcohol treatment and in the court system.

    Our biggest problem we are facing and NO one seems to be discussing this is: Born Addicted children to either alcohol or drugs now having children born addicted. This has increased at an exponential rate since I have been in the field. There are numerous studies on this situation giving credence that being a child from a parent who has a problem with alcohol and drugs creates a variance in their DNA causing a higher propensity of being addicted. This Must be addressed before we can clean up the drug problem!

    August 31, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  82. Todd Bemister

    Heidi,

    It is about accountability and responsibility and at what age are citizens to be deemed an adult.

    Regardless of the legal drinking age kids will drink.

    I believe all legal adult choices should be applied at a unified age. Regardless what that age is. The rights to vote, enroll in the army, purchase cigarettes, gamble and drink should all be applied to a citizen at the same time. At that time 18, 19, 20 whatever age they are to be deemed adult by society they will accountable to adult standards in that society.

    The mix of ages applied to these choices must lead to such personal confusion and does indeed send a mass of conflicting messages to young adults.

    Regards,

    Todd
    Winnipeg, MB

    August 31, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  83. Wade

    Absolutely not. In fact, prohibition should be re-instated and actually enforced.

    There is no moral justification for the sale of alcohol, or tobacco for that matter, in a rational, modern civilization. We know the relation between alcohol and automobile accidents as well as domestic violence and all of the other associated behavior. While alcohol is not the sole motivator or cause of these things, it certainly is known to be involved in them in an increased relationship compared to non-alcohol related activities and accidents of a similar sort..

    It is disgraceful that we live in the midst of the greatest intellectual and technological revolution in history, in which people are supposedly smarter and more educated than ever before, and yet the sale of alcohol is still allowed.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  84. Eric

    This whole question to me seems a bit absurd quite frankly. We have a drinking age of 21 currently yet our voting and military service ages are both 18. The discussion of the affects of changing the drinking age on underage and/or binge drinking on college campuses seems of very little importance when you look at the resposibility associated with voting and possibly dying for your country in armed combat. In my opinion all three of these things should be the same age at the very least. Of the three, drinking to me seems to be the least to worry about. Were it me working to change things i'd let the kids drink first, then when they're mature enough to decide on a president let them vote, lastly, when they are actually men and women and can make a clear choice, let them fight and possibly die for their country. As with most things in public policy this seems to be to be logic that is so painfully obvious it astounds me that things are the way they are now. Perhaps most of Europe and the UK actually know a thing or two when it comes to this subject.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  85. Joan

    I can't believe we are still debating this issue!
    This was an issue when I was a teenager. As a 57 year old parent of 2 young adults and 1 teenager I believe we need to change the age limit to 18. I have lived and visited many other countries which have no age limit and drinking is not the problem it is here. It is a cultural change that parents need to initiate at home. Teaching responsible drinking and moderation. We send 18 year old to fight wars,expect them to be responsible citizen, to vote , to work , to get a higher education and yet we regulate something that should be a personal decision because we think we are saving them from themselves?

    August 31, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  86. Chris Harris

    Setting the drinking age at 21 we leave little opportunity for parents to guide their children in drinking responsibly. By the time children can drink they have long left home. As a parent of 3 children I am strongly in favor of reducing the legal drinking age.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  87. Greg

    Yo Heidi, I got a big laugh this morning when you said you had your own opnion about Bret Farve playing for the Vikings, be ready to catch Hell from up north (warming things up a bit 'hey') in the land of ten thousand lakes

    Have a fun day

    Greg

    August 31, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  88. Crissy from Texas

    I do not believe that the drinking age should be lowered, if anything it should be raised. Maybe to 25, if you will stop and look around most of the people are not able to handle the current limit at 21. Take a look at our nations addicts, look at the police calls that all revolve around drinking. The peolpe who have lost legs, arms, or lives because of drinking. 21 is just to young, the fact is that America is in trouble and drinking at a younger age is not going to help anything.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  89. Christine M

    I agree with Monica's position:change the legal age of drinking to age 19. Hopefully, that extra year will see them in college, and not legally getting drunk at senior proms and parties and dying before their time. As I discussed earlier in my position, as a former educator, I have found the age limit to be an artificial form of prohibition, which only brings out a rebellious, irresponsible form of binge drinking. I too, am alarmed at the cost to society of alcoholism: I do not drink for political reasons of my own, and at a young age, chose not to use drugs, in great part BECAUSE of the trail of dead bodies that litter the way to that illegal drug's availability. However, if a young person is old enough to vote, and die in the armed services, they should have the right to learn how to drink responsibly. We can, as a society, shape pro-social behaviors by demystifying alcohol use and guiding young people from the youngest ages on, in the home and school, to respect their bodies and the rights of the community at large to be safe from the consequences of irresponsible drinking, We can do better to allow our young people the dignity of making informed decisions, especially if public policy expands to teaching responsibility and moderation from the youngest ages on.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  90. Justin

    Younger people tend to be far more irresponsible due to inexperience and the fact that they now have access to freedoms they didn't have when they were dependent on their parents(typically). Lowering the drinking age would only add to that irresponsibility and make it possible for more alcohol related deaths, injuries, and crimes. Furthermore, it would create a way for more people to develop dependency problems thus decreasing their ability to contribute positively to their own lives and society. Yes, they still drink regardless of the age limit, but instead of allowing them to do it legally, there should be harsher punishments for underage drinking. Parents should play a big role in discouraging substance abuse as well. Do not wait until there are fatalities involved to take action for someones irresponsibility and inexperience. There is absolutely nothing good about alcohol, especially when it comes to young adults.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  91. Wade

    Forgive me if double posting isn't allowed, but I re-state this another way.

    What moral person allows the sale of alcohol or tobacco, particularly given the facts on the raltionship between alcohol and domestic violence and auto accidents, and particularly given the fact that tobacco is even required to come with a 'THIS WILL KILL YOU" label?

    To those people who use and promote these products, have you ever stopped and asked yourself the question, "What sane, moral, rational person would ever use this?"

    Both alcohol consumption and tobacco use are complete mind-numbing foolishness and idiocy no matter how you try to rationalize or justify it.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  92. James of Aspen Hills

    As a high school science teacher, I assure you the drinking age should not be changed!

    Most students who are 18 years old (and many who are as old as 21!) are not capable of making good, rational decisions because the pre-frontal lobes of their brains (the executive parts used for impulse control) are not fully developed and will not develop fully until these kids are about 25.

    As a concerned adult, unless we are willing to accept more carnage and death on our highways, I assure you the drinking age should not be changed! .... In fact, it should probably be increased to at least 25 years of age!

    August 31, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  93. Chris Kitchings

    Having survived raising 3 children to the legal drinking age of 21, I always wonder why the debate is whether to lower the drinking age to 18. Why not 19? At 18 most are still in high school which would not be good. Making the drinking age 19 would provide young adults yet another age of passage into adulthood. The reality is age 21 does not work as a legal drinking age.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  94. Ann Ervin

    I am confused about the idea that you are considered an adult at the age of 18 but you have to be 21 to drink. It is confusing for parents and their kids. Most kids think they are grown at the age of 18 and no longer have to listen to their parents. But the laws still hold the parents responsible for the kids until they are 21. It should all go under one age. I do believe the law should be lowered for the same reasons as many. If you can legally join the military (without parental consent) then you should be able to drink legally. The other fact is they are drinking anyway. (Note to parents who think their children are not drinking well newsflash they are.)

    August 31, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  95. Garrett

    When and why was it even raised?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  96. Spencer

    I do not think there should be a drinking age at all. Just like any thing else, I think parents should be responsible for their kids and their actions. Parents should have the decision of when their kids can have a drink.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  97. IB

    The drinking age should absolutely be lowered, however, I think that 19 years old could be better than 18, the age that most kids are out of high school, many of whom are on college campuses where they are driving less. I am appalled at the amount of drinking that goes on and the importance of it by underage drinkers. I believe that abuse occurs when something has to be hidden. This phenomenon also inhibits parents from knowing their child’s behaviors, creates lying between parent and child, and prohibits parents from being aware of a problem sooner rather than later (or too late). Consumption (binge drinking) seems to be more prevalant now than when I was growing up, a generation ago when the drinking age was 18. I am equally daunted by the way in which parents deal with the situation when they know their children and friends are drinking, whether for events such as high school graduation and proms, siblings graduation from college, end of season sports teams parties…And what are the parents doing ?-they know their kids are drinking and they are allowing it—they’re telling their kids that if they do so to do it responsibly. but at the same time they’re telling them not to get caught while doing something illegal —to have a designated driver, not overdrink, not drink in public, not to have alcohol in a car…. And lastly, the obvious reason that the drinking age shoud be lowered –at 18 one can get married, go to war, sign a contract—but not celebrate ? What twisted messages are we giving our young adults ?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  98. steven

    definatly

    August 31, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  99. Stephanie

    No, it should not be lowered. I am from Germany and the drinking age is 18 and I witnessed much more drinking problems in germany than in the united states. But the options of public transportation makes it safer for drunk people in germany. here in the states it is unsafe to get drunk and not have public transportation, that is why I think the drinking age should stay the same.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  100. Justin

    In response to many people using the armed forces or marriage argument, those are two totally different situations. Both marriage and the military typically requires sobriety, especially the military. In fact, the military strongly discourages alcohol use and the punishments for abuse of it is much worse than in the civilian world. It's almost childish to use the fact that an eighteen year old can get married and join the military to justify drinking at that age. Maturity is relative, just because you are 18, 21, or 30 does not mean that you are a responsible adult. Your body may be a full grown at 18, but your mind is not. In many cases most "adults" are not responsible enough to consume alcohol responsibly much less an 18 year old.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  101. Maggie

    Yes, I do think the drinking age should be lowered. Illegal drinking has proven to be much more dangerous.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  102. Dave

    The human brain continues to develop till age 25. Alcohol can inhibit this development so if anything the drinking age should be raised. Culturally it would never happen.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  103. Dave

    When drinking age was first lowered to 18, junior students were getting totally wasted at parties and school dances. If the age is reduced how about tying it to no drivers license until age 25 if you're caught over the legal limit?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  104. Tim Weikert

    Our young men and women serve us very proudly in the military some at the age of 17. I would think these young adults, as all young adults, should be allowed to make the decision to drink. Yes, 18 would be acceptable to me.

    Side Note, When can we hear more on the war in Afgan, I see two more soliders died.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  105. michelle schindler

    If you are old enough to die serving our great country, you should be old enough to have a cocktail.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  106. Eileen

    Should the drinking age be lowered? Seeing the binge drinking of young freshman – and even upper-classmen, I can say no. Although there is the argument of growing up responsibly with alcohol will help reduce drunk driving, etc. but this is America, not Europe... Society is going to have to change as well as the law for a younger drinking age to work.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  107. Ed

    Heidi, look at a random name of someone 18-20 on Myspace. You wouldn't BELIVE how many beer/wine/ etc parties they are having. what's odd is the fact that they show pictures of themselves drunk and/or high for the entire world to see.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  108. Lindsay

    Hi,

    Lower the drinking age? Are you kidding?

    21 years of age for drinking is just fine, lets leave that alone.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  109. Tee

    Absolutely not. We have enough problems with teenagers drinking illegally and driving with the drinking age at 21.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  110. GhostBear

    Although kids are probably going to drink anyways, we shouldn't make it easier. At 21 kids are more mature and can generally make better decisions. Teenagers will always get alcohol some how, but those that cannot purchase it because they couldn't find someone over 21 may not drink that night and may not get in the car and kill themselves or someone else.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  111. Walter

    Everyone knows the de facto drinking age at Ivy League institutions is already 17 or 18. Why do they get a free pass and no one else does?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  112. Cole

    The drinking age definitely should be lowered. We allow eighteen year old soldiers to kill someone but they can't have a drink?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  113. Mike Grenia

    Either the drinking age should be lowered to 18 or the "age of majority" should be raised back to 21.
    You're either an adult with the full privileges and responsibilities of being an adult, or you're not.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  114. Karen

    When I was 18 I was going to college in Chicago where the drinking age was 21 but in Wisconsin it was 18. There were numerous trips across the state line to buy alcohol but also many car wrecks along I-94.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  115. Ben

    All it will do is make way more problems in our society, and cause way more car accidents and senseless deaths. It is not a very good idea at all.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  116. Jim Kerwin

    The age should go back to 18, like it was when we were kids. The college professor's and counselors have enough to do, they shouldn't have to teach the kids about drinking responsibly, the parents should teach them that before they go to college.

    There is no drinking age in the UK, and they do just fine, because they teach responsibilities at a very young age.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  117. Jackie

    I think the drinking age should be lowered- once you have your high school diploma you should be able to drink. As a 21 year old college student, I think it's silly to have the drinking age so high especially when the majority of underaged college students drink. If you just lower the drinking age to 18 I would be concerned that more high school students will begin drinking at younger ages, and there would be an increase in teenage drinking and driving. If you don't have a high school diploma or GED I don't think you should be drinking anyway.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  118. Rick Bear

    I'd be in support of lowering the drinking age to 18 nationally here in the United States. Being a parent of a 19 year old I don't make this decision lightly. I seriously believe the alcohol consumption of those 18 to 20 is due to the thrill of breaking a law. I speak from experience as well.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  119. Larice Wojewski

    I believe that if you are able to serve and die for our country n the military at 18, you should be able to drink at least 3.2 beer at 18. Maybe not hard liquor, but convenience store beer should be legal for 18 year olds.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  120. Laura Dunston

    I believe if you are old enough to fight for your country and vote for its leaders, you are old enough to have a drink.
    Raising the drinking age has not lessened drinking related accidents or excessive alcohol consumption. Countries where the legal age to drink is lower have less alcohol related deaths and less alcohol abuse among their youth.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  121. Robert St.Hilaire

    If you are mature enough to be licensed to kill for your country you ought to be considered responsible enough to handle alcohol. By the way, you are gorgeous 🙂

    August 31, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  122. Linnea B.

    I think that if an "adult" male or female can risk their life for their country they should at the very least be able to hav a gosh-darn Beer.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  123. Lindsey

    Of course the drinking age should be lowered. We are wasting law enforcement dollars trying to enforce this ridiculous 21 limit while serious criminals go free. 18+ citizens are always going to drink anyway. If you can die for your country, you can buy a beer. Either lower the drinking age or raise the legal age limits on marriage and military service.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  124. jackie

    as a 26yr old mother of 2 i was18 once and wanted the drinking age lowered. as i did my fair share of having fun, but in the long run i am glad that i did have to wait those extra 3 years.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  125. Jeff Dudley

    I strongly believe that the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18 years of age.

    At the age of 18 you are considered an adult in all other aspects of life.

    You are old enough to vote, join the military, drive etc.

    Along with the right to drink at 18, should also be the responsiblity to not drink and drive. Stricter penalities should be handed out to those who choose to do so. No free passes.

    The first time you drink and drive, loose your drivers liscense for two years, period.

    Second time, loose them forever!!

    Harsh punishment I know, but it would make folks think long and hard before drinking and driving!!

    Jeff Dudley
    Laurel, MD

    August 31, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  126. B. Henry [Patterson, LA]

    The legal drinking age should NOT be lowered. I'm 18 and don't drink, but I think that some teens would not know how to handle the new privilege of being able to drink while younger. I think this would to lead to higher accident rates among teens [DUIs] and could cause a spike in auto insurance for teens [as if it's not high enough now]. But, it ultimately comes down to the parents' decision and the decisions that the teen makes...

    August 31, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  127. Egberto Willies

    The legal drinking age should be the same age of voting eligibility and military enlistment age. You cannot ask a person to die for their country and have restriction on their ability to have a drink. Now at the same time we must be consistent in enforcing DWI and drunk behavior laws.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  128. Kimberly

    i think it should because we are old enough to buy ciggarets and get married and go out and fight for our nation so why do we have to wait till were 21 to drink wen some kids already drink at the age of 18 anyways

    August 31, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  129. Liz

    The drinking age should be lowered. 18 year-olds are allowed to go to war and vote but can't drink? That's ridiculous. Kids should be taught how to drink before they go to college and end up over their heads at some kegger. The number one cause of death for college kids is alcohol. They need to be taught their limits and how to be responsible.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  130. char

    No. do not lowere the drinking age. If you go way back in the past like 30 years ago. beer could be drunk at 18 nothing else. So maybe I will change my mind. Beer has an awful taste and not like those flower type drinks they make now. So YEs Beer for 18.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  131. Graham

    Lowering the drinking age is something people care about until they reach the legal drinking age, then they simply bury it in the closet. The reality: everyone drinks prior to turning 21, so why no give businesses the opportunity to profit–and spare parents liquor cabinets. If the government deems individuals responsible and informed enough to decide who our countries leaders are at 18, they should trust them to drink.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  132. Colin Hart

    As a college student I do think it should be lowered. Kids drink anyway. Plenty of 18 year olds and younger are able to get there hands on alcohol. I feel that even though there might be a year or so where kids really go crazy with their new found freedom it would calm down. Part of what makes drinking interesting IS the fact that it's not allowed. Legalize it and it's all of a sudden not as cool as it was.

    I would also like to add that because of our countries intense feelings against drinking kids don't know how to handle themselves. They've never drank before or their parents have always told them not to. They hit college or high school and they drink way more than they should. Because they don't understand the risks or they do understand but rebelling gets priority over what's reasonable.

    This is not to say there shouldn't be limits. I think it would be perfectly reasonable to allow 18 year olds to drink with limitations. Whether that would mean limiting the amount they could buy or whether or not they could by liquor I don't know.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  133. Frank Calderone

    Hi I'm from Philadelphia,PA i think the drinking age should not be lowered I've seen lots of accidents involving teen agers and it's sad to see the outcome of these accidents when a police officer has to knock on a daughter's or son's home and tell their parents the sad news that they have died in an accident is really horrible.

    Great work Heidi on your show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  134. Pablo

    You shouldn't be allowed to go to war and kill people but not drink. The goverment is letting people get married but they cant go out for a beer with a friend 21 in to high and age and teenagers start binge drinking at 18. if you make the drinking age 18 kids wont binge drink as much because they're legal drinkers at 18 not 21.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  135. Brian S.

    Beer and wine should be lowered to 19. Liquor should stay at 21. It would take away the "shock" of turning 21.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  136. Sean

    At 18, young Americans can use tobacco products and purchase pornography. They can be drafted into military service for their country and help to choose our leaders in government. They can do what any consenting adult can do, except drink alcohol.

    This disconnect is only made more apparent by the arguments for keeping the drinking age at 21 – it does not deter underage drinking, nor will it promote even younger children to drink.

    If we really want our children to drink responsibly, we should treat them like adults, lower the drinking age, and do some responsible parenting.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  137. Regena

    If the DRAFT age is 18, then drinking age should be the same. However, I believe the DRAFT age should be raised to age 21 and leave the drinking age at 21. An 18 year old, in my opinion, is to young and immature to handle a gun or a glass of liquor.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  138. Aaron - MN

    If children are allowed at a younger age to drink, they will respect how the beverage is handled once they are away from home for the first time. If it is left up to the parent to inform the kid/child on the use of alcohol, hold the child and the parent responsible up to 18 years old. What's the DWI records in other parts of the world by the way?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  139. max

    I think one should try to find out what percentage of killings due to drunk drivers are due to young drivers. Also try to talk to a family who has lost a loved one to such an accident. Bottom line is that alcohol is a mind-altering substance. Please don't let this lobby put more people in danger.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  140. Stephanie Chapin

    I grew up when the drinking age was 18. The issue is that many young people turn 18 in high school. They then provide liquor to their friends. I would suggest the drinking age to be 19. Most young adults will be out of high school by then. It is better to have kids in bars, where there is some supervision. Believe me, you will have those who will drink, at regardless of age if they want to. You will also have those, like my son, who even at age 21 choose not to. They have seen the damage that alcohol can do. Last year, someone stumbled into his unlocked college apartment, and passed out on the couch. If they would not have called the police, this person probably would have died from alcohol poisoning, they could not wake him up and the paramedics took him to the hospital.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  141. Fernando

    As an American raised in both the US and Europe, it all comes down to drinking culture. In other parts of the world, teenagers are taught to appreciate alcoholic beverages and not to abuse them. From my experience, in the US there is no such education for appreciating alcohol simply because it is so taboo, and so many people go off to college and indulge in it to their detriment. I'm for lowering the drinking age, but only if something can be done about the way alcohol is addressed and introduced to the next generation.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  142. TJMac

    When are we, as a country, going to stop lowering the standards and changing the rules to keep from facing complaints from a few people? There are adults (well over the age of 21) who can't make the appropriate choices when it comes to drinking in moderation, so we certainly don't need to lower the drinking age to any age below 21 years. With all the drunk driving deaths occurring in this country, we should be considering going the other direction.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  143. Tony J.

    Absolutely not. The current laws prohibiting under-aged drinking simply need to be dutifully enforced and those selling alcoholic beverages to those under age should be held accountable and aggressively prosecuted. I can only see this proposal being supported for purposes of financial advantage – which is not however advantageous to kids dying on our roads and highways or causing the deaths of innocent others.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  144. Laurie from New York

    Of course it should. It should even been lower. In Europe, children drink wine with dinner. It's reverse psychology when you make alcohol a huge "no no" because then all the more reason to do it. When it's accessible and a normal part of a meal, etc. it's not an exotic rebellious thing to do.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  145. travis haskie

    yes the drinkin age should be lowered to 18! we got 18 year old military service memebers dying for our country so they should be allowed to drink. the ones that aren't in the military can help by payin the tax for the drinks!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  146. Wade

    Construction contractors and engineering firms in various fields are continually sued repeatedly over accidental deaths and cancers caused by asbestos, in some cases, even when they had no way of knowing ahead of time the product they were using caused harm.

    Pharmaceutical companies and doctors are sued over accidents involving medical drugs which cause unexpected allergic reactions resulting in injury or death, or cause other unexpected side effects, in some cases even when they had no way of knowing.

    In both the asbestos case and the medical drugs cases the products are permanently banned and recalled, as they should be. Then of course our frivolous lawsuit culture jumps on the company like a bunch of sharks, but that is another matter.

    Now given those examples, the question remains, why are alcohol and tobacco still on the market, since they have no medical purpose, and are both known to cause disease and all the other things mentioned by myself and others?

    The "Lower the age, they drink illegally anyway" argument is a cop out used by intellectually dishonest people.

    "underage drinking" would be a non-issue if alcohol wasn't legal and wasn't marketed to people on every second billboard and television commercial, and convenience stores didn't devote 1/4 of their floor space and freezer space to beer and hard liquor.

    It is cultural and individual insanity, and is only allowed because of capitalism and the tax revenues.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  147. Jake-Penn State

    I'm a Penn State student and I have seen first hand how the 21 drinking age has driven drinking underground and in dangerous places. People would drink in moderation like in Canada and in Europe if the age was lowered. People would drink less because they don't feel like they have to load up because alcohol is not always available to them. The 21 drinking age has indirectly encouraged "pre-gaming" getting drunk before one drinks socially at a party. This 21 age has resulted in dangerous risks for society. Lower the drinking age and keep the penalties for DUI the same.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  148. Cassandra

    they should just raise the combat age! If you can't drink a beer you shouldn't be allowed to go to war.

    As a college student below the legal drinking age I often wish I could legally drink however i realize That in a nation where the majority of our youth have their own vehicles, drinking and driving is highly likely

    August 31, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  149. Sam Schumach

    Yes, at least for members of the armed forces. How can one say that a person who fights for this country and is trusted by it's own government with the responsibility of secrets regarding national security, or even being in charge of millions of dollars of equipment is too young to have a beer. I served as a flight mechanic in the U.S. Air Force and deployed 4 times between the ages of 18 and 21. And I can guarantee you that we were definitely mature enough to have a beer. Like the old saying, if you can die for this country, you should be able to have a beer.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  150. Ronni

    I think it should be legalized at the age of 18, because that is how it was back in the day, and it should be that way now.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  151. Jack

    I believe the drinking age should not be lowered but rather raised to age 35. The responsibilities of young adults in regard to social values are lacking and maybe, just maybe, by age 35 they could have reached some level of common sense. Otherwise, there's not much hope left for the next generation.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  152. Mike F.

    It shouldn't be termed "lowering". It was already 18. It's simply "RESTORING" the age to 18 after looking at the results of raising the age to 21.

    After all, when is someone REALLY an "adult"? I was always raised to believe that at 18 my life was MY responsibility.

    Is someone an adult at 18 or NOT? THAT is the question.

    Restore the age to 18. Raising the age has cost more lives by driving them to drink "underground" where the bartender cannot "cut them off".

    August 31, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  153. J P Sammartano

    Heidi>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    How more ignorant can Congressional and other elected officials be.. ????????????
    When a soldier can vote, accept being injured or worse, die in his/her voluntary service to protect others!
    Yet cannot have a beer?
    Maybe it is why illegal drug use of marijuana is up.... and is also why I try to see the opponents point of view .
    I just cannot stick my head that far up my Alpha...

    Instead of leaving it up to the elected officials lets leave it to the people.. we the people.. thanks for reading.. hope you can help.
    I have niece in Iraq and two nephews her brothers in West Point.
    Heidi help us make this become part of the ballot in 2010 and help the next generation..

    August 31, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  154. David Smith

    The drinking age should be lowered. Kids are substituting illegal drugs for alcohol. Their drugs of choice are marijuana, cocaine, oxycontin, xanax and other prescription drugs. In addition, the punishment for getting caught with these drugs can be minimal. Get a DUI and the state will make you a hostage to get your license back. They will make you pay for your own probation and go to AA meetings, etc. States can't take your driver's license if you get busted for pot, etc. It is also too costly for states to incarcerate them. Therefore, they just get a "slap on the wrist."

    August 31, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  155. James

    I am 52 years old and can remember that I could drink when I turned 18. The drinking age never should have been raised in the first place. All factors still exist that lowered it to 18 in the '70s. We have young men dying on foreign soil who cannot legally drink, that is not right! Prohibition doesn't work. Never has, never will. What works is education. If people are worried about driving safety, then adopt a system like Canada where no person is allowed any blood alcohol for the first two years of driving experience and only .03 from two to four years experience, regardless of age. Educate young people that it takes one hour for them to metabolize one drink and allow them to drink responsibly or don't drive at all.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  156. Rosebjohn

    Leave it the way it is. Yes – 18 year olds can vote, fight for our country, get married etc etc. I have many nieces and nephews, know tons of teenagers and am watching all of the grow up in a complicated world. They all have cars and those extra three years of growing and learning can be the difference between life and death. I wonder how many adolescents are still alive today because of the current legal drinking age!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  157. Rellim

    It should be lowered, but not to eighteen. I agree with earlier posters that nineteen is a good place for it. It will keep the problem out of high schools, and will also further distance the legal drinking age from the legal driving age, which hopefully will avoid the kind of situations that led to the age's increase in the first place (such as a kid getting their license and the ability to drink on the same day and just wanting to do both).

    As for those that say 21 year olds are more mature about alcohol than 19 year olds, consider this: most 21 year olds have already been drinking for several years already. The maturity they have about it has been developed because of their past experiences with it. If we lived in an ideal world where no one picked up a drink until they were 21, we would see far more 21 year olds with less of an ability to make mature decisions about alcohol.

    At the very least, however, even if the drinking age isn't changed for everybody, I feel that every single one of our men and women in uniform should be able to drink, even those soldiers as young as 17. If you are old enough to take a bullet for our country you should be old enough to drink alcohol. Period.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  158. Tia

    As a college student (who happens to turn 21 today!) I feel as though the adults who argue against lowering the drinking age are not paying attention to the actions of young people under 21 with the current standards. I live in a college town that is home to many bars that allow for students to enter if they are 19 but cannot drink until 21. Underage drinking and easy access to alcohol is something that occurs with such prevalence that it has become obvious that if the "rebellious" aspect is not taken away from drinking, binge drinking will continue and I will continue to see ambulances at Freshmen residence halls every weekend, picking up students who have suffered from alcohol poisoning. Ignoring this by creating programs to keep kids from drinking is not going to stop them.

    When it comes to drunk driving, this is also occurring with youth under 21, especially in rural areas (like where I grew up). Because my friend did not want to let his parents know he had been drinking he insisted on driving his own car home from a party and as a result got into an accident and died. Today I look back on that tragedy and know that this would not have happened if drinking was not a "cool" and "rebellious" thing to do.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  159. Ray Klimovitz

    Definitely lower the drinking age to 19. Anyone going to college or into the military should be able to enjoy a beer without breaking the law. The only thing that the 21 year old drinking does is to encourage binge drinking!

    Ray Klimovitz
    Chippewa Falls, WI

    August 31, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  160. Al

    I feel if you are old enough to fight for this great country, than you should be able to have a beer. Why not raise the draft age to 21! We need to teach young people about responsibilitys and not to abuse alcohol. Than it will work, just like other countries.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  161. Walter

    I lived in a small town where many kids started drinking at age 14. If the drinking age is lowered to 18, these 18 year old adults will be buying booze for their 14, 15, 16, 17 year old friends. It is bad enough with 21 year old buying booze for 17, 18, 19, 20.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  162. John

    The legal drinking age should not be lowered to 18, but rather to 19. This would keep most high school age individuals from beeing able to legally buy alcohol, but would allow most college aged individuals the ability to legal drink. As a college student myself I can attest to the fact that most people who participate in high risk drinking (bing drinking, drinking and driving) are those that are underage because they want to "take full advantage" of any opportunity where they can drink since they cannot at most times.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  163. michelle

    actually i believe that it should be lowered and my reason is that they do so anyways and that they do it illegally. we really dont have enough law enforcement to make sure these 18 year olds dont drink and far less enforcement on underage drinking and you know they are able to go to war and other things as well that the age of 18 makes them legally an adult binding agreements, war, so as much as im against drinking and drugs altogether lets face it folks THEY DO IT ANYWAYS!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  164. Barbara Chaddick

    I think teenagers should be allowed to drink at 18. It's up to the parents to teach them to drink responsibly. I believe that if you're old enough to fight for your country, you're old enough to have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner.If you tell your children it's taboo, that just makes them think they should try it. European kids are drinking at 18 and it's fine. If it's not mysterious, it's not so interesting. When teens learn to drive, they should have alcholol and drug classes to.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  165. Thatcher

    The drinking age should not be lowered. What is the big rush in being legal to drink anyway? I just turned 21 and yeah I've been drinking for a few years but it was always responsibly. The drinking age now is 21 and kids are drinking who are 17. If the age was lowered to 18, then those young kids who know even younger kids could get them booze. Soon enough you'll have elementary school kids getting alcohol from they older siblings. Lowering the drinking age also lowers the drinking age for minors. Do we want 13 year old kids drunk because some people think you should be 18 to drink?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  166. David

    Good morning Heidi. How is lowering the drinking age to 18 going to reduce drinking in off campus settings? Lowering the drinking age will just increase it and pre colleged drinking too. I don't think it should be lowered.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  167. Hannah

    The drinking age was18 for me and I also came from a European family and occasionally had wine at dinner 16. Once I got to college I drinking was no big deal.

    Kids need to be taught responsible use of alcohol by their parents legally in thier senior year when they are 18. They are not doing a very good job of figuring it out themselves later on. Think of it as a learners permit for drinking.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  168. Laura HK

    "Old enough to fight, old enough to vote" went the old slogan that brought about the 26th amendment, lowering the vote age to 18. If a person is considered an adult, can vote, and can fight, why can't they drink? A lower drinking age won't change all that much as most college-aged adults will drink illegally anyway. Someone may argue that this will make drunk driving rates go up, but stepping into a car under the influence is a personal choice, not a political one. Besides, I attended a University in England, where students can drink at 18, and the world didn't end, students still went to class, and overall people had a better time.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  169. Walter

    Why is Heidi referring to 18 year old adults as kids? She keeps saying KIDS can vote, KIDS can serve in the military. What are you talking about Heidi?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  170. Colin Dean

    Remember that it's all tied to highway funding. If a state was thrifty enough to impose additional tax on alcohol sales, it could offer alcoholic beverages to a new market and likely compensate for the loss of federal-backed highway funds. A small state or a state with light interstate traffic could handle this easily.

    Pennsylvania, while raking in federal highway dollars for I-80, I-70, and I-76 (plus the lesser ones I-79, I-90, and some ones out east), could allow sales of alcohol in all stores (not just eating establishments and state-run Wines and Spirits stores), tax it, and fund the roads and probably even education programs to teach teenagers about moderation rather than abstinence.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  171. kathy

    I think that if 18 year olds can go to war for their country, buy cigarettes, lottery tickets and vote they should be allowed to drink.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  172. Dwayne D.C. Tucker II

    Heidi Collins,

    As a student here in America, I think the drinking age should be lowered. I am Dwayne Tucker an international from Nassau, Bahamas.
    The way I see it, if people like myself (under 21) wants to drink, we will find away around the 21 law and drink.

    18 is the age to drink in the countries of most international students. When we come here into America we are not craving alcohol, we are don't criminals because we had drank alcohol prior to entry in the United States of America; however we are students with averages over 3.0 and just as normal as any other.

    Even though my thoughts maybe equal rejected as accepted out of thousands, my reasoning for stating that I think the drinking age should be lowered to 18 is as follows: If you tell a child the can't have the candy out of the candy jar they will secretly try to get that candy until they get it, a smart child will get it. If you just let them have it they will see no fun in getting it the candy out of the jar, the parent should control how much candy as the law should control how much alcohol a child should drink.

    -
    Dwayne D.C. Tucker II
    Nassau, Bahamas

    August 31, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  173. Bob Stagner

    The paranoia about late teenage drinking has created a two tier level of citizenship in this country. I passed the twenty one year old age limit in 1963 and am in no way a fan of alcohol being a recovering alcoholic myself, (my last drink was in 1976.)
    I have always maintained that it is possibly unconstitutional to select an age group and give them all the duties of citizenship yet deny the right to take a drink.
    This group of individuals 18-20 are legally responsible for their actions including those taken under the influence of alcohol. Can we constitutionally deny them the right to drink? Is this not a form of age discrimination that has never been challenged because the victims have soon passed out of the afflicted group and no one really wants to get involved in an unpopular and long campaign? Where is the ACLU on the issue?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  174. David Fair

    The drinking age should be lowered to 19 not 18, so the person is clearly out of high school and not tempted to share with younger friends.

    States should requires those 19 to 21 to take alcohol education classes, completion of which would be designated on their driver license. It would be a privelidge that can be taken away should the person act irresponisbly.

    The real issue is that these young peole are being made into criminals for something that is a normal part of growing up.

    The increased risk of DWI is a false argument. Statistically if you eliminate any set age group you will see a decline in DWI related incidents.

    Lets not criminalize these young people, but educate them on how to drink responsiblly and identify warning signs.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  175. Lachelle D. Duncan

    I believe the drinking age should not be lowered. The children today do not have the common sense, nor the responsibility to handle alcohol. Besides, most parents arent aware of their kids outside doings and forces. I know how crazy I was during my teenage years. Leave well enough alone!!!!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  176. Keith

    Most people at eighteen are already drinking or have experimented. I was grandfathered in when Virginia switched to 21 and was still able to buy beer at nineteen and twenty. I feel however better education is the answer whenever possible and that legal and cheap breathalyzers can be available so hosts and guests at partys have a reasonable idea where they stand before driving or doing hazardous activities.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  177. William W. Charles

    Age 18 was the law for wine and 3.2% beer much of the 20th century in Ohio until Pres. Reagan forced the age to 21 countrywide in 1983. In the 1950's in Ohio I witnessed in 4 years of college many Korean War vets and other students drink and behave mainly responsibily. A majority must plead to rescind the decision to withhold federal dollars from states' highway funds if states do not have age 21 for any alcohol beverages.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  178. Greg Bryan

    I feel that lowering the drinking age would be worst mistake since the Vietnam War. When i was 18 and able to drink, I feel lucky to have survived. It was supposed to be reconciliation for all the 17yo veterans of the Vietnam War but In fact it meant instead of killing the enemy, you know could come home and kill your friend and family. I attend 6 funerals before I was 20yo, one was for 5 children of the same family due to drinking and driving of teenagers. Another problem is 17 and 16yo have a much easy access to alcohol. My children had to be 21 and I think it was much better for them to wait.
    Thank You
    Greg, Oxford Ga

    August 31, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  179. Jon

    I feel that the drinking age should stay the same, 21 due to the fact if it is lowered to 18 there will be more accidents due to more drunk drivers being on the road. I know that under age drinking is still going on, but at least if they are caught drinking under age they loose there drivers license for a period of time. We don't need any more issues with drunk drivers being on our roads. I feel there are still people that are uner the age of 21 who are not responsible enough to handle certian things and drinking being one of them.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  180. Carley Blanchard

    I am 12-years-old, and I think the drinking age should not be lowered, but it should be "highered". You sometimes hear of people that just turn 21, and they are drinking too much. I think if they are older, they would be wiser.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  181. John

    I work in the liquor industry in Ontario Canada where the drinking age is 19. I personally think it should be RAISED to 21. The teens that come into liquor stores 9 times out of 10 want to buy as much as possibile for their friends, often come in already drunk and tend to be very combatitive if you deny them a purchase. Similarily most drunk driving crashes in Ontario seem to be caused by teens who have legally purchased alcohol. Lowering the US drinking age is NOT a good idea

    August 31, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  182. Wade

    No, reality is not, "Everyone drinks prior to 21," that is a statement you have been conditioned to believe by the Kennedy family and other brewery families.

    I'm 28 and I have never even tasted alcohol, realizing the insanity of anyone who is willing to knowingly drink something that dampens their own reasoning and judgment. Its like "press the idiot button" every time you take a sip of that garbage. Yet you people want everyone to get started even earlier?

    Hey, here's an idea, let's go right ahead and legalize EVERY poison and addictive substance and condition one another, and especially the children, to desire and crave it through the use of billboards and commercials showing the top tenth of a percent of sexy men and women doing it, just like alcohol and tobacco. This way the amount of irresponsible, insane behaviour the world over will increase even more, and the government can tax those things too. That sounds like a GREAT plan for our next generation, and why not? You people are already crazy enough to allow at least two such substances to be mass marketted to everyone that way, and some of you want marijuana legalized too, so we may as well legalize it all and kill everyone faster!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  183. Todd

    I cant believe we cant legalize Marijuana but we will Lower the drinking age for a substance far MORE harmful. What a stupid stupid society we live in. FREE THE WEED NOT THE BOOZE!!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  184. wendell jordan, nyc

    DRINKING IS A BIG PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY. I DON'T FEEL THAT LOWERING THE DRINKING WILL MAKE THIS PROBLEM GO AWAY.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  185. John G.

    The drinking age should be lowered because it allows for less privatized binge-drinking. College students and other minors are going to find a way to get alcohol! I recently graduated from college, and it's not a difficult task to get your hands on alcohol when you're underage.

    Eighteen-year olds are also allowed to join our armed forces and sacrifice their lives for our country, but you're telling me they shouldn't be able to have a beer?

    Maybe they could take the approach of some cruise lines and other public establishments by doing a limit on hard liquor

    August 31, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  186. bob harris

    If you are old enough to die for this country (military), you are old enough for a cold beer.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  187. Barbra

    I am definitely against lowering the drinking age to 18. I was teaching high school the last time the age was dropped to 18 in Ct. These were the problems I witnessed: drinking before school, during school, after school, 15 and 16 yesr olds getting fake IDs and being served or purchasing alcohol. Why bring back this problem. As far as European 18 year olds drinking, the problem of alcholism is on the rise there for that age group as well as drug- use related problems.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  188. barney

    come on guys get real!
    I am a retired air force pilot and the age should be 18 because we can give our lives at 18 for your country everyday so why can't we drink and have fun.

    When in the military all 18 year olds get to drink with no problem on base so why can't it be done off base because we make you sleep easier at night.

    GET REAL EVERYONE!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  189. james tasker

    I think they should raise the legal drinking age to 65!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  190. Mary Baird

    I think 18 is too young. Nineteen might be okay. I'm a teacher and I don't want my seniors going out for 3 martini lunches and reporting back to me sloshed.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  191. DEBBIE LEONARD

    When I went to college, we had Rathskellers(sp) on campus. We could drink on campus and not have to drive afterwards. Now with the majority of students under the legal age, the on campus bars are closed and students go off campus to party and have to drive home. If you are a good looking girl, bars don't check your ID too carefully, and computers make very good ID. You can go to war for the country at 18, you should be able to have a beer. Responsible drinking should be tought like any other topic.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  192. Lynn H

    The drinking age should obviously be lowered. I am a 22 year old college senior and I started drinking freshman year of college at 18 like everyone else. I have never driven drunk or had any alcohol related accidents such as alcohol poisoning. Students that do get caught drinking underage (not driving, just simply having alcohol) are often too severely punished and lose things like scholarships simply for doing what everyone else is doing. This law is unfair on a monumental level. How many of our soldiers have died without yet being able to purchase a 6 pack?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  193. Julia

    Of course a higher drinking age would decrease drinking in younger (that's the point!), but I wonder if a higher drinking age makes more risky drinking later in life because they start drinking once they are out of the eyes of parents and in the hands of their friends. A lower drinking age would force parents to address this issue while their children are still in their care and so might introduce safer and more moderate drinking earlier on.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  194. Ed Fern

    The drinking age, the voting age, and the age for military service should all be raised to 50. We would have fewer highway deaths, fewer corrupt politicians, and fewer wars. What could be better.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  195. Krstofer

    How many "underage" folk do we have overseas in the Military right now? They can risk their lives for our country, but when they get home... Can't legally have a beer?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  196. Erik

    This issue is whether you are an adult or not and what age does that occur. If, as a country, we decide the age that a child turns into an adult is at 18, then at 18 they should be able to make the decisions that adults make. It's simple.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  197. Scott

    Yes, lower the age back to what it was before, and legalize marijuana...its much safer and less harmful.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  198. mona

    If our 18 year olds are old enough to offer their lives to keep our country safe, then they are old enough to drink.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  199. Cole E. Wilgus

    Underage drinking will continue to happen no matter what the legal drinking age is. In countries where the drinking age is lower than 21, teens are shown to be more responsible towards alcohol related issues such as drinking and driving. Lowering the legal age to 18 would be only beneficial.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  200. Brandy Lewis

    I am a mother of 5 children ages from 8 to 13. I have seen so many young kids who drink way to early in life. I don't think it should be lowered to 18. How could anyone let a child drink at that age? It is will only cause problems. We have enough problems with kids on cell phones and driving now lets add that you can drink on top of that. What stupid person could want this to happen? He must not have Children!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  201. mike

    The drinking age in the states should definetly be pushed down to 18. Here in B.C it is 19 and has been for years, in Alberta, it;s 18. It has made us more responsible with alcohol at a younge age.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  202. Kristi Ft Campbell Ky

    I think it should be lowered! I am an army wife and i have sevral family members in the millitary and thay have to sacrfice so much in there life and yet thay caint drink a beer ! Also i remebr when i turned 21 it did not change anything but the fact that i didnt have to hide it. In my opinon it would help keep young adults off the road and at home or in a safer place becuse you would not have to hide it by drivin down dirt roads and in the woods like i had to do in my small town that i grew up in.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  203. Leah Nentl

    My husband is in the military, and I understand the whole, "If you can fight for our country, you can have a beer", but I am only 23, and I see a lot of people drink (especially because of this)... people, at 21, cannot handle it sometimes and are very immature with drinking.

    Also, what makes people think that 18 year olds are not going to bring it into the High Schools?! Remember, 18 year olds are still in High School, and can be for almost a year (depending on they're birthday). That's a HUGE problem!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  204. Ben

    Can't we attribute fewer automobile crash deaths to advances in safety technology in cars right around the time that the drinking age was raised? I think it is more dangerous when someone under 21 feels compelled to get behind the wheel to rush home from a party because they don't want their parents to find out that they were drinking. Making drinking forbidden to those under 21 not only makes it more alluring, but also makes them hide it and do stupid things to cover up their drinking.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  205. Harriet Forman

    At 18 we permit – in fact encourage our youth to fight and sometimes die on the battlefield
    At 18 we encourage and allow our youth to vote and help select future leaders
    We trust them to make the right deisions both to protect us and to build a bettergovernment.
    We know forbidden fruit is more enticing then that relatively easy to obtain
    We also know that children of parents who educate and set examples are less likely to abuse alcohol and drugs
    Age has little to do with it
    If 18 is the age of military acceptanve and voting eligibility – make it legal for the purchase of alcohol and use the tax money for increased education about the dangers of overuse!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  206. Chris

    Being a former soldier and watching young people die in Iraq every day, I completely believe the drinking age should be lowered. I believe they've earned that right!

    As for the individuals who believe drinking/driving accidents will rise...every new policy will bear some burdens, but over time as teenagers get used to the idea of 18 being the drinking age, there will be a steep decline in accidents. It's all about parents teaching responsibility to their children.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  207. Jesse Dwyer

    Absolutely the drinking age should be lowered. We continue to live in the age prohibition. Throughout Europe, the drinking age is 16, and they experience less alcohol related car accidents as well as a lower alcohol addiction rate. When alcohol is is represented as part of ones culture and is not a taboo substance it is far less likely to be abused.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  208. sandeep

    all college campus should be alcohal free. we need to protect our children. at eighteen they want to experiment evrything to the extend. so the drinking age should still stay 21.
    thanks
    sandeep

    August 31, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  209. Andrew Duncan

    I believe it should be lowered as a college student I really do agree with John McCardell there is so much secret drinking on my campus its not funny. If we bring it out in the open if kids could have a beer in the student union someone who was sober could tell them they have had enough rather than everyone else around being too drunk to notice.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  210. mike

    I is not fair that someone is called to give their life in the armed forces, possibly against their will if a draft was activated but not able to buy a drink. Statistics can be misleading. Just think how many lives would be saved if we raised the drinking age to 40.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  211. David

    Yes, I totally think the age should be lowered. No one is mentioning how 18-20 year olds are able to buy cigarettes but not alcohol. It's like telling us that you could only be an adult to a certain extent, what kind of country do we live in where you are hindered from being a full adult but you're expected to act like one?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  212. Allison Badely

    I'm a college student at Florida State and have noticed a big difference in people who drank when they were in high school. The people I knew who drank when younger drink heavily now, where as I drink only on occasion maybe a few times a month compared to a few times a week.
    The brain has not fully developed at the age of 18 to make smart decisions.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  213. Lynn H

    Many students that are under 21 are also afraid to seek medical help when they need it for alcohol related incidents because they are afraid of academic or other repercussions. The current law is only hurting.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  214. P.V. Zinsser

    Just what we need. Kids ages 18-20, driving drunk while texting and talking on their cell phones. Lock up the women and children!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  215. Cindi M

    Lowering the drinking age would quite possibly be the dumbest thing the US could do. Let's take into fact that the human brain does not quit growing until approximately 25 years of age. Then lets take the fact that the last part of the brain to develop is the deductive reasoning center, ex: If I do this: This might happen. Then lets take into consideration that at lest a quarter of all high school seniors turn 18 during the school year. Can you imagine a high school senior coming home from school saying " I've had a hard day at school, I need a drink" ? Also, think of how many young teens look older? How easy would it be for them to fool someone about their age with a fake ID? Come on people, yes, we have a problelm with young people drinking in this country. The answer is not lowering the age, it's increasing the penalties for those selling the alcohol to them in the first place!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  216. Steve

    Lower the drinking age to 18 and make breathalizer wheel locks mandatory. No one has their rights violated and everyone is safe.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  217. Veronica from Corpus Christi,Tx

    Yes, for those that are 18 years old and serving the military only.I feel the drinking age for those that aren't should remain at 21yrs.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  218. Liam

    The U.S. should follow the footsteps of many European countries by lowering the drinking age and raising the driving age. This will give young people the opportunity to experience and understand the effects of alcohol before they are even allowed to get behind the wheel of a car. This will ultimately lower the amount of driving deaths among young people. Kids will find ways to drink... lets just make sure they don't drive drunk or get in the car with someone who is drunk.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  219. John L

    Though I'm 35, I support the right for 18 year old's to drink. When a man turns 18, our country tells him he's old enough to register for the draft, yet not responsible enough to drink. It's insulting.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  220. mrt721

    The drinking age SHOULD be lowered to 18, but ONLY for honorably discharged or active-duty members of the millitary, police forces or firemen. These young men and women who daily are willing to put their lives on the line sure as hell deserve a beer or two after work.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  221. Rebekah

    I think that the age should be lowered. If a person can fight for this country and die, they ought to be able to drink a beer. I'm 22 years old and drinking is not as much as a hype as it was when I was 18. Let them get through the excitement of buying alcohol and then they'll be over it by the time they are 21. I know I did.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  222. Tara Fashauer

    No the drinking age should not be lowered to 18. There are 30 and 40 year old's out there that can't handle there drinking. It should stay at 21!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  223. Laurie Tietjen

    No, I do not think the drinking age needs to be lowered from age 21. Recent research in human development shows that the last area of development is in the brain in the decision-making center. This occurs around the age of 24. If anything, as a society we need to rethink allowing those under the age of 24 to take on full responsibility of ANY major life-changing decisions such as the draft, marriage, etc.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  224. keith

    What a bunch of crap. Banks helping? Banks and the government have proven to be dysfunctional, greedy and self serving. The arrogant bank execs know that their time in the spotlight is fleeting, and they have returned to their wicked ,evil, practices already. The love of money is the root of all evil. I'm sure all the bank execs have a picture of Madoff over their beds and light candles to him each night.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  225. Chris

    Lower drinking age equals more drunk teens which equals more pregnant teenagers. WAY TO GO!! NOT!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  226. Tom

    No, it should remain the same or, it should be raised to 23/24. I served in the military just after the national age limit was raised but it remained 18 in the military for a couple years thereafter. Looking back, within those few years, I highly regret drinking at such a young age because of some of the stupefied things I did. I even got a d.u.i. and spent the night in jail,paid a fine and completed community service. I highly regret them...

    Tom – Mesa AZ

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  227. John M.

    Yes the drinking age should be lowered. Having a drinking age of 21 is age discrimination against legal adults who have all the responsibilities of adults without all of the privileges.
    If you have the mental and emotional maturity to be convicted, tried and executed as an adult, not being able to have the rights of an adult is immoral and unethical.
    I say this as a 41 year old man who drank responsibly in college at the age of 18. We didn't have the same binge problem that kills young adults as we do now either.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  228. Steve Miami

    Cigarettes 18, fight a war 18, drive a car 18, it's only a matter of time when the drinking age will be lowered to 18.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  229. Mimi

    It should definitely be lowered. Younger members of cultures with a drinking age of 18 have a healthier respect for alcohol and know how to use it responsibly. In the US, it is a 'forbidden' activity for young people, making it all the more alluring. When they get access to it now, they go overboard.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  230. Bob Sukovich

    Heidi,
    I remember New Jersey doing this some years ago. My mother worked in a tavern/restaurant and they "new" drinkers started coming around and in three months, their business was runined. The "kids" got out of control and drove away the "family" business. They were loud, danced on tables, and generally dirty. NJ went back to 21. Bob

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  231. kendall

    The drinking age should only be lowered to 18 if the driving age is increased to 21. Teenage driving should not be accompanied with drinking.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  232. John Hull

    Good idea, lower the drinking age and reduce the population by means of vehicular manslaughter. Maybe with fewer people the Obama health plan will be affordable and death panels will not be necessary.
    I wonder how hard it is to text while driving drunk?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  233. Christin

    When I was 16 I remember hanging with a group of teens in Switzerland that were drinking in public. I asked: "So you guys get drunk?" My answer back: "Why would we do that? We just have a beverage or two with our friends." They showed me that being able to drink at any time reduced the over-consumption desirable by many of America's teens. We need to teach good alcohol management not prohibition.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  234. Jim Denny

    If you have a military ID card, you should be able to drink. If you can die for your country, you should be able to tie one on in it. But if you are not the military, you probably are not ready to take on the responsibilities life can throw at you, so you shouldn't be able to drink until you are 21.

    Of course, the drinking age is a joke, since we were able to get all we wanted by the age of 15. But young people who can legally drink are more prone to drive someplace to drink. If it is illegal, you are probably doing it at home or at a friends and probably not driving.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  235. nancy kowalski

    ABSOLUTELY NOT. OBVIOUSLY WHOEVER CAME UP WITH THAT THOUGHT HASN'T HAD THEIR LIFE TOUCHED BY A DRUNK DRIVER. THE YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY ARE GIVEN FAR TO MANY LIBERTIES AS IT IS.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  236. cheryl harrivel

    According to medical professionals, the section of the brain that is responsiblle for rational thought and decision making, isn't fully developed until around age 21. That is what should be considered when making the decision .

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  237. JoAnn Koepke Taylor

    How can any country restrict 18 to 21 year olds as to liquor consumption when they are of voting age and are expected to give their lives on battle fields in protecting American rights? How many of those killed in recent military disputes were under the age of 21? Thousands.

    Via

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  238. jim

    it should be lowered to 18 for the Military with military ID Cards.
    1000's young men have died for this county and the least they should be able to do is drink.
    unlike civilians there is double punishment for a military person..
    I am a 29 year retired Viet Nam vet, 100% disability from agent orange in Viet Nam.
    who is going to protect this county if not for the military.
    retired CMSGT JIM WILKINSON

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  239. Oz1miller

    I think this is well overdue. At 18 you can be trusted with the defense of the nation; You may be sent to prison; and you are trusted to vote for elected officials. As a veteran, during my active duty time I saw many troops get in trouble for having a drink after risking there life for this nation.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  240. Joe R

    The reduction in highway deaths since the lowering of the drinking age In my opinion is a result of awareness not a higher drinking age. As an underage college student i have grown up my entire life with the concept of not drinking and driving drilled into my head, and it has not been very difficult to get alcohol.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  241. Connie Dunn

    Yes, the drinking age should be lowered to 19 and the driving age should be raised to 17 or 18. I was able to drink legally at the age of 18 in 1972, the problem then was no education on the subject of responsible drinking.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  242. Lachelle D. Duncan

    I just asked a teenager and a 21year old. they both had said " the drinking age should not be lowered-hell No!!!!"

    August 31, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  243. SGT

    I think if the individual that is carrying a active military ID an they are 18 should be allowed to buy alcohol. If they are old enough an responsible enough to go overseas, or are willing to put there lives at stake for the good of the country than they should be rewarded for that.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  244. Ed Lowder MD

    It is actually a sad reflection on our society that alcohol plays such an important role. The fact that you can vote or serve your country at 18 has nothing to do with drinking alcohol. After 25 years as an ER physician I have seen the devastating events of alcohol on individuals and families. I would personally stop the sale of alcohol to everyone. The only person it benefits is the people who sell it. I realize that prohition didn't work but legalizing alcohol has been devastating to many. It is a very complex issue.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  245. Orville Brown

    40 years ago I was drafted at age 18. At that time I could not buy a car, house or other major purchase as I was not 21. I also could not legally drink. However, I could be drafted and expected to fight for this country.

    It appears that we should to be consistent. If we, as a society beleive that an 18 year olds is old enough to defend this country, why then is he/she not old enough to make his/her own decisions regarding the use of alcohol.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  246. Helen

    I our "children" are old enough to make the decision at 17 to go into the military and go to other countries and kill people in wars that are decided by people that they did not vote for . . . . they should be given the respect that they can make the decision to have a glass of wine with dinner.

    They can get married and have children . . . raise children! But no wine with dinner?

    Kill strangers but no wine with dinner?

    Perhaps we keep the drinking age at 21 and raise the age of enlisting into the military to 35? How would that effect the nature of war in our country?

    Perhaps we should raise the age we have children to 35 and have to complete courses on parenting first also?

    We spend how many years in schooling learning many things that we will never use the rest of our lives, yet have little or no teaching in responsible relationships, parenting, and use of alcohol . . . all of which we will be doing the rest of our lives!

    Peace.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  247. Cody Tanner Sr.

    My son is very responsible young gentleman. He has his driving permit and will be 16 next month. He is enrolled in the JROTC program at his high school with a plan to join the Marines after high school.

    My older brother was in the military, and when he was in basic training, a bar near/or on base was a place he would occasionally frequent. The bartender there said it best when he surprised my brother with a bear being only 18. He told him, “if you’re old enough to die for your country, you’re old enough to have a beer”.

    I would have a beer with my 18 year old son! I would also preach moderation, and the heavy responsibility that comes with drinking.

    Cody Tanner Sr.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  248. Jared

    Absolutely the drinking age should be lowered. If you can go to war and kill people, you should be able to have a beer. Colleges could have comprehensive involvement in educating 18 yr olds and older how to drink responsibly by creating responsible drinking events that include driving kids to these events to avoid drunk driving and controlling the amount kids drink at such events. Also this would allow parents to teach their children at a younger age when some are still in the home how to drink responsibly with a glass of wine or beer at dinner. Parents should not be dragged out of their homes by police for trying to teach these lessons in the home. Sadly, there have been stories of parents being hauled off to jail for trying to be responsible and supervise their children's drinking. Also, cops on college campuses should be prioritizing their enforcement time by caring more about the girls walking home alone from parties instead of caring so much about busting down doors looking for underage drinkers. Current adults have no idea what goes on on college campuses today, meaning the 21 yr old age restriction did nothing but force people to purchase fake ID's. Prohibition for 18-20 yr olds is a failure especially on college campuses.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  249. mik sposato

    I would rather my child be in a bar under some supervision, than a t a party under the supervision of ????

    August 31, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  250. Chris Mullinnix

    Truth is, people 18 and below are drinking and in great excess. If it was better educated and more open, say like in several European countries their would be less problems. Compare the number of fatalaties, criminal cases, etc. Also you mean to tell me the government will send and 18 year old to fight in a War but a man/woman cant have a a drink responsibly freely?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  251. Eric W

    Lower the age already! You can own a gun, die for your country, and elect a leader for your country....but can't decide what to put into your own body. There is something wrong with a country where a 10 yr old can carry a loaded gun into the woods to kill a deer or other animal, but an 18 yr old can't even have a beer [in public] with friends. The U.S. needs to take a few lessons from our friends in Europe.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  252. Saddie

    Now that I am almost 25 I have the same view I had when I was 18. If as Americans we can fight and die in war at 18 we should be able to have the same rights when it comes to drinking alcohol.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  253. Makaela

    I do believe a discussion on lowering the drinking age needs to take place. As a 22 year old college student myself I think that if the drinking age is lowered it will give parents more of an influence over their children's drinking decisions before they head off to college rather than half way through their college careers. Safety, information and honesty are key to equipping young people with the tools they need to make good drinking decisions, and lowering the drinking age is the way to get the conversation flowing.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  254. dewey

    The former president of Middlebury College thinks the drinking should be lowered? How low? When a boy's voice begins to deepen or girls curves begin to appear? That's just what we need. Thirteen year olds sucking down the juice. Sir, please attend a twelve step program meeting and ask the people in attendance what they think about your idea of lowering the drinking age. Then get back on TV.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  255. Jack Warren III

    Absolutely not! For me this is a personal issue because I have a close family member who started drinking when he turned 16 and now at 23 he is dealing alcoholism. We need to do a better job on the local level of educating parents to the dangers of alcohol abuse among minors. Studies have shown that if the drinking age where lowered there would be horrific ripple affects in our country. Drunk driving is already one of the leading causes of death among teenagers. Instead of talking about lowering the drinking age we should be creating new and innovative ways of educating our teenagers and parents on the value of being a responsible individual when it comes to drinking.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  256. Janis

    I think we send mixed messages to our teens. How can we tell them they are adults at 18 for everything but drinking. If they can get married and be punished in the eyes of the law like an adult at 18 then we need to treat them like an adult in all aspects of their lives. After all we will let them give their lives for our country at 18 yet not sit down and have a beer with a friend. Maybe the question should be are they really adults at 18. How about adults at 21?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  257. Viki

    The drinking age should be lowered to 18; 16 with parental supervision. As a parent of 2 boys who don't even turn 18 until after they graduate highschool, the current law prevents me from training my children to drink responsibly. When I was a teenager, I was taught to drink within my family setting. I was taught to sip wine at dinner, and enjoy a cocktail at a family gathering. Rarely, was I tempted to over-indulge. I learned my "limit" within the safety of my family. WIth the current restrictions, I can't supervise my children learning to drink responsibly without fear of legal action. My children will take their first drink on some college campus surrounded by others without knowledge, experience or concern for my children's safety. This is irresponsible and dangerous.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  258. Kweku Opuni

    personally, i believe lowering the legal age for drinking to 18 will increase indecent behaviors such as fighting and violence in teenagers both in schools and at homes, because teens cannot control their behavior under influence of alcohol as compared to adults. i think that the present age (21) is good because the individual could be held responsible for their actions. thank you.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  259. Darin

    I think that a review of the available data will reveal two things: (1) there is a correlation between a higher drinking age and reduced traffic fatalities with alcahol involvement, and (2) there is very little evidence to support causation (i.e. that the dinking age caused the drop in deaths). Where's the proof that 21 is any better than 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, etc. MADD has done good work, but I think that the organization is blinded by emotional appeal, or maybe something else. As mentioned by earlier posts, this issue is tainted by the desire of the states to secure federal dollars.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  260. Josh

    The statistics used to justify the drinking age of 21 can also be used against letting people over the age of 55 drink. I am sure if drinking over 55 years of age was illegal, you would see a decrease in hospital admissions, car accidents etc, job loss leading to unemployment claims, etc.,, I find it funny that the head of the highway safety refers to a 1980 statistic- almost 20 years old.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  261. Derek

    If you can go and fight for your country at 18, then why shouldn't you be allowed to drink?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  262. Amanda

    I am currently a sophomore in college in Miami and have a different view on the lowering of the drinking age. I just saw your piece on in my college library and I agree with a lot of the things said. Simply lowering the age would not be beneficial in itself because then it would just create more issues, but i feel that an evaluation as said would be helpful because of the fact that more younger people would be aware of the bad/good situations that could be created. Drinking behind closed doors is always happening no matter the age limit or driving issues. And honestly, it is not an issue for many people to get a hold of it. The part that creates problems in a lot of peoples eyes is that they are not educated or aware and make bad decisions. Hence making it more difficult for people who do make responsible decisions and try to do things responsibly. I believe teaching an alcohol awareness course in the later years of high school would be most beneficial in all situations and create a safer night life environment for all party goers!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  263. Geena Maharaj

    Consuming alcohol is can't be categorized along side "fighting for our country" or marriage. By drinking and using poor judgement, the result could be a life or death situation. This may seem similar to joining the army, but that couldn't be further from the truth. At least by fighting in a war, one is risking their life for something good.
    Thus, I don't think lowering the drinking age would be a wise decision. I'm eighteen, and I know many of my friends–who aren't dumb people–could completely sabotage their college career if the drinking age was lowered.
    The problem lies in our culture, so changing the minimum drinking age isn't the answer. There needs to be some kind of cultural movement...

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  264. Caitlin

    Last year I attended college and lived in the dorms. Drinking was an every night thing for most of the girls I lived with even though none of them were 21. Either they had fake IDs or just went to a house to drink. My friend turned 25 and they went on a bar scavenger hunt, but I was not able to attend because I was not 21. I thought it was stupid that I could not assist her in her hunt but was free to drink with them once they all got home. Why can I get married (which is one of the biggest decisions to make in life) or kill someone at war, but when it comes to having a glass of wine at dinner in a public place, I am not allowed to partake. I think that if the drinking age were to be lowered statistics would be high for a while but the overall result would be no change, maybe even safer drinking would be done by college age students because they would have someone working at a bar trained to deal with drunk people telling them when to stop instead of a few frat boys pushing more down their throats until they get alcohol poisoning.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  265. Dot

    According to recent medical research, human brains are still maturing from 18-21. So drinking can actually do more harm at that age to the brain than later. Also they are more susceptible to those drinking games and binge drink. We have had too many in our state of Minnesota who were so drunk they fell into rivers and other water bodies and drowned. It is true that it is difficult to have some of a legal age to drink and some not in college. Perhaps the age should be put at 22 so that most will not be of legal age.
    When I was in college there was a girl who sneaked out the window of our dorm at night and went to a bar and drank beer. When she came back she would go vomit in the bathroom. She said she did not like beer but "had" to drink it when she went to the bar with friends. Oviously she was not mature enough to be drinking.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  266. Beau

    It would seem that simply citing highway fatalities as proof of the dangers of a lowered drinking age is faulty. As far as I know it has been quite a few years since states have allowed those under 21 to drink alcohol. In the years since vehicle safety devices and seat belt laws have vastly improved or have been more vigorously enforced. It would seem more prudent to cite accident statistics and traffic infractions involving alcohol not just those also involving fatalities as an indicator of illegal activity and the likelihood of 18 to 20 year old citizens acting responsibly in the face of this state tax boon.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  267. Emma

    The drinking age should be lowered. At the moment, underage drinking is something we are taught to be ashamed of and we therefore cannot talk about it in a constructive and open manner. Keeping it in the shadows, refusing to discuss it although we know it is happening, encourages irresponsible behavior and unhealthy practices. What we can say for sure is that the current drinking age doesn't deter drinking, it just moves it somewhere else. I just turned 21 and I know how easy it is to get trashed underage, where to get alcohol without an i.d., which bars don't card, etc. It's not hard to get around. What's nearly impossible, however, is to be a responsible drinker in public. Until a few months ago, I was unable to have 1 glass of wine with dinner in a restaurant. I was unable to order one drink at a club. What we had to do was to get wasted in someone's dorm room beforehand in order to sustain throughout the night. Now you tell me, what's better? To be secretive and excessive or to drink in public where someone can tell you that you've had enough?

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  268. Arthur Hirsch

    So insane! An effort should be placed on education of our young people not as they turn 18 but way before that! It is absurd to think the pressures of piers does not relate at much earlier ages. To be able to give your life for your country, for freedom, while allowing the governing body to control an individual liberty to be able to make personal decisions is ludicrous. Also legalize drugs as well since The War on that is flawed with dishonest rhetoric too!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  269. Kim Pouncey

    My company has taught alcohol awareness classes to over 40,0000 servers, bartenders and managers with a general age range of 18-24. IN class we ask if there is anyone that does not drink. Normally no one raises their hand. We ask if there is anyone that has not ever been drunk and normally no one raises their hand.

    Many 21 and over say they quit drinking when they turned 21 because it was legal and no fun anymore.

    Kids are going to drink. I have seen many tragic accidents caused by teens that were out driving around and drinking. Parents that want to be responsible and allow kids to drink at home but are afraid of breaking the law.

    Kids have got to learn responsible drinking and the only way they can do that is before they leave home and end up on a college campus fending for themselves.

    If it makes the roads unsafe, maybe we should raise the driving age.

    Kim Pouncey
    President Straight up, LLC

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  270. BD Hodges

    At least, lower the drinking age to 18 for the military!
    They should be able to drink anytime, without restrictions.
    They have earned the right!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  271. lynn from MN

    No, the legal drinking age should not be lowered to 18. It's a fact...the human brain, specificially, the prefrontal lobe isn't fully developed until around age 25. Why is this a big deal? The prefrontal lobe directs decision making, anger management and impulsivity amongst other things. Do we want alcohol in the hands of young people who are not fully wired yet to make good decisions? The auto industry figured it out a long time ago... policy premiums lower for a young man around age 25. Right about the time the prefrontal cortex fully develops. Young people may attend different colleges all around the nation, but collectively they are all enrolled at PFCU. Prefrontal cortex undeveloped.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  272. Rick Bear

    I'm reading through these blogs and have to ask many of you something about parenting. Many of you have stated that "parents" should be more attentive, responsible, and/or more in tune with their children.

    HELLO..................

    Being the father of a 19 & 16 year old what you are saying is not always the easy. Yes, my wife and I have had our boys active in every social and sporting activity available and have done so by sacrifice towards ourselves. It's working for our youngest, but did not have a holding affect on our oldest.

    While raising our children we were always preaching responsibility. Responsibility requires good, sound decisions. Once a child (17-20) succums to peer pressure of those they have surrounded themselves with all those parenting teachings are GONE...

    Don't be so quick to blame the parents. I felt that way for many, many years until my oldest son turned 17 and forged his own personality.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  273. Steven Seaman

    Hey Heidi, I grew up during the Vietnam era and the drinking age was lowered then for the argument, 18 to die but not 18 to drink. Although we are not losing as many brave young men in these two wars, I feel the same argument exists. Granted, 18 to drink RESPONSIVELY. Young men and women have evolved to a higher standard since the 60's and 70's, so give them a chance.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  274. dean wilber

    I think the problem is the culture which says drinking is a rite of passage. What does alcohol do for you anyway? you can have fun w/o it. if you want an altered state of consciousness try prayer.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  275. Matt

    The realistic age should be 19; If you lower it to 18 high school kids have much easier access to it as there class mates can now get it for them. The rise is high school freshman drinker would be devastating. At 19 you are a freshman in college and generally through your first semester if not year. The real issue is college and if you should be allowed to drink in college. Something no one else will say that i shall in college drinking age does not matter at all. Every bar has undersage in it weather its a fake or the bouncer let the "pretty girls in" I listen to these debates on tv and as i am not as edictated on the situation as 99% of the people you bring on the show I am very educated on the reality of the bar scene and college parties and how they work. There are a lot of ways to change the problems around us our government just focus on one the age.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  276. John

    As a European I find this debate completely laughable. You let kids drive at 16 when as the esteemed science teacher pointed out, they are "are not capable of making good, rational decisions because the pre-frontal lobes of their brains are not fully developed". One main issue I see with drinking in general and it's relationship with road accidents is how we differ in Europe. We have quality public transport that provides a means for people to get home from pubs/clubs without having to make that decision to drive. Another issue in this country is cultural. Things like alcohol, drugs and sex are placed up on a pedestal as being so taboo that kids almost lust for them and then and through a glutenous culture and lack of self control go after these "vices" and overdo it. Perhaps if the drinking age was lowered here then parents could control it more at home and take away some of fascination. Have a drink at dinner etc. I do this with both of my teens and they have absolutely no curiosity towards alcohol and look at their friends trying to steal booze from their family homes or buy it with false ID's in astonishment. At the end of the day kids will get their hands on drink if they want it. My bigger worry is 16 year olds driving, going to a party and then drinking. Fix transport before you reduce your drinking age and take kids out of cars.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  277. MR

    Legal Age 21 reminds me of the image of the ostrich with its head in the ground. The ostrich being parents, MADD, and anyone that thinks an age 21 drinking law actually means that 18-20 year olds aren't drinking.
    I'm a Canadian. My province has a drinking age of 19 (Quebec and Alberta are the only two that have 18). A lower drinking age forces parents to participate in the alcohol education of their children instead of pretending that they won't actually take a drink until their senior year of college. I've been going to grad school in the US for the a few years now and the behaviour of American students in regards to alcohol strikes me as bizarre. So many have nothing all week only to binge on whatever is on special at the bar on Saturday. A roommate almost drank himself to death recently. In the angry conversation that followed I asked where he learned to drink. He replied, "College".

    August 31, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  278. Shalesh

    No WAY...
    This may be another way government wants additional tax revenue since it is running in deficit. Here is another idea for getting more tax revenue: Allow smoking in restaurant and bar and in transportation places. How about that?

    I would suggest to have compete ban on alcohol and cigarettes like any other control substance, since this kills people, slowly.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  279. Fred A. Jones

    I know its a popular thought process to lower the drinking age, its like hey they are drinking anyway, but that doesn't mean its a good thing. First of all keeping the legal drinking age at 21 isn't going to affect the drinking issue lets be real about that but what it does do is at least keep things in perspective. If you are in such a hurry to damage your liver, kidneys, endanger your life or other potentially negativites to occur then have at it. However if you want to enjoy the time of your youth, party responsibly and not put yourself in unnecessary danger by getting behind the wheel, then 21 will work for you. Finally adults have to communicate with the children more, so that if they want to drink they can feel they can discuss it with those that love them too offer proper guidance and assurance.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  280. Lynn

    I think lowering the drinking age to 18 is a huge mistake. If you want more alcohol related deaths among young people and more deaths as a result of alcohol related poisonings go ahead. 18 year old are not mature enough to handle alcohol and the responsibilities that go along with it. Since the drinking age has been changed to 21 the amount of alcohol related traffic accidents and deaths in the nation dropped significantly.. Changing it will only endanger young peoples lives and the lives of citizens when 18 years olds try to drive after having drank too much. Drinking can wait til 21 when they are mature enough to handle the responsibilities. I say no way to the idea of changing the law back to 18!!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  281. Rose lee

    If they can go fight in a war they should be able to drink. IncreasE the draft age to 21. They drink all they want now. The fact that they are doing something they are not supposed to be doing makes it more exciting. Who inceases the age anyway? When I was 18 you could drink at 18.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  282. Brian

    I am a 22 yr old member of the U.S military. Everyday I hear about people getting into trouble and losing rank as a result of under age drinking. 18, 19, and 20 yr old men and woman die everyday in our nations wars, When we are lucky enough to make it out of there alive and intact we are not allowed to drink a beer? give me a break. these young men and woman are getting into trouble ruining their careers in the military as a result of this rediculous law. send me to war sam, afterall I am an adult right?....but punish me when i drink beer.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  283. Vicki

    When my husband and I were at Penn State in the '60s, the drinking age was 21. But, that didn't affect the kegs of beer consumed at fraternity parties.

    When our son went to Penn State many years later, the drinking age was still 21 but fraternities had to police their parties. They were not allowed to have kegs. They could only have beer in cans. There was a member who checked IDs at the door. He could not drink that night.

    If the drinking age is lowered to 18, all students can drink at these parties. It makes no sense especially when the man from an insurance company said accidents go down when the drinking age is 21.

    You can't put driving, voting, and drinking in the same category. That makes no sense.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  284. Linda

    Absolutely NOT!
    1.High schools would have a HUGE problem because most students turn 18 while in high school.
    2. The brain isn't fully developed by 18 and alcohol use can permanently affect the developing brain.
    3. Comparing drinking to being in the armed services is like comparing apples to oranges. Armed services usually ADD something positive to a person's life (discipline, organization, sense of purpose, learning a skill) and drinking adds - fun?

    I would be willing to listen to discussions on people in the armed services being allowed to drink. Those teens have usually graduated from high school and they have built-in discipline that would curb the abuse of alcohol.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  285. David Beun

    I am a police officer in New Jersey. I am also a DARE officer. I have had, on several occassions, the unfortunate duty of telling loved ones that their son or daughter will never be coming home because of an alcohol related accident. A very high percentage of these deaths are people under 21. As you consider the advantages and disadvantages of lowering the drinking age, I ask that you consider the damage done to those family members left behing. The cold truth is, if someone kills themself because they drank too much, they are not around to suffer the pain. But what if they kill someone else? What about those family members who survive? Will those under 21 still drink? Of course. Will more drink, more die, and more families never be the same again if the age is lowered? Unfortunately, I think so.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  286. dan2king

    i think it should be lowered to 19. This way, highschoolers 18 and under would find it harder to get alcohol, but college age kids, who i think make up the biggest population of underage drinkers would be able to drink worry free.....thus, curb "binge drinking" because there is no fear of getting caught.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  287. Anne

    it is interesting that back in the 1970s Oklahoma allowed girls age 18 to purchase beer at a store (not a bar) but not males. So, guess what, the girls went in and bought the beer for the parties. I believe it's now 21 for everyone.

    Also we have in the South dry counties, dry towns and dry townships.

    Also in Oklahoma at one time (and possibly in dry counties now) – which usually have huge liquor stores just across the county line – anyway, in Oklahoma you could drink at a restaurant if you were a "member", brought your own bottle and turned it over to the bartender. Supposedly he poured only your drinks from your bottles then you took them home with you.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  288. Ashley

    I believe the drinking age should not be lowered unless it is at an age when students are not in High School. 18 should never be the legal drinking age. Even though students below the drinking age will always drink and have access to it, there will be less parties with alcochol and driving under the influence in High School if the drinking age remains above 18 and less than 21.
    Everything is done behind closed doors or at a bar where almost everyone gets wasted in college. Lowering the drinking age will cause more students to do it illegally younger.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  289. gabriel

    im 20 and i thank that if we lower the drinking age how do we stop kids going to school drunk? and if it is lowered then the only the people with miliatairy I.D. should be alowed to by alcohal. and if they dont have miliatairy I.D. then they have to wate tell 21.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  290. DAVID

    I have mixed emotions about today's blog question; I'm a retired Police Officer who saw the effects of underaged drunkenness ... either behind the wheel or walking in public places ... my first reaction was to say, "No, keep the drinking age at 21."

    But, as a former 19 year old Viet Nam combat soldier, when I came to the realization that my 19 year old grandson is an active duty Marine Infantryman preparing to be deployed to the Middle East, it doesn't seem to be right that you experience combat, but cannot have a beer when you return stateside.

    My Heidi Blog answer would then be "yes! .... lower the drinking age to 18."

    August 31, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  291. Bruce

    The alcohol epidemic on campuses cannot be affected by changing the drinking age. The problem is that too many college students simply have too much spare time on their hands. Most have about 15 class hours and some labs and meetings. Depending on the college, there may be little homework, and across the nation we see colleges with no classes on Friday. Administrators are often appalled by the non-stop "partying" that goes on from Thursday night through Sunday. Of course, there are exceptions, but much of our education money is wasted on handsome classroom buildings that are frequently vacant. The solution is to expect our undergraduates to spend as much time in class and at campus functions as we expect from high school students. Many students cannot manage the transition from full days at high school to college, where they only "have to be somewhere" for 15 hours a week.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  292. kathleen

    I agree that the drinking age should be moved back down to 18. It seems ridiculous that we can ask men and women that are 18 to go risk their life for our country, but at the same time, say they aren't allowed to drink a beer. Binge drinking is a reality; having 21 as the legal drinking age does not lessen the amount of binge drinking, it only feeds it. These individuals who are 18, 19, etc. have to hide their drinking activities, which only makes the situation worse.
    It was mentioned that the rate of drinking & driving is higher for an 18 year drinking age vs 21. However, I am curious to know what statistics they are using for this comparison. If these stats are pulled together from the 70s, let's face it, everyone was drinking & driving then, which is not the case nowadays.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  293. Alexandria

    Why did they raise it in the first place? I became of age when 18 made you legal, and my parent taught me the perils of excessive drinking. I have two kids in college who were armed with knowlege. REALISTICALLY, many, if not most students, drink while away at school. Raising the age has only created a false sense of security. Have we really noticed a substantial, positive change from raising the drinking age? Some people have the belief that these young adults will be encouraged. 18 year olds still drink, except now they are all breaking the law. Education not prohibition.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  294. Andy

    I was 18 when the legal drinking age was 18 before. I drank and found myself in several situations I'm not necessarily proud of. I do, however, believe kids are better able to handle alcohol by the age of 21. In fact, my son who is in the Air Force turned 21 this month. He called me and told me he had just had his first drink and he HATED it! I couldn't have been more proud. If I thought kids could responsibly handle alcohol at 18, I'd be all for it. I'm just not sure they can.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  295. Justin

    As a Canadian that has attend College in the states, i think i have a pretty good view of each side. From what i saw there is really no difference in how young people 18 to 22 act when at the bar, or how they behave after a night at the bar (this is just in general) . With the lower drinking age you do have a chance to drink while still at home with parents , and you don't have to hide out somewhere to do it..
    My belief is also if you can fight and die for your country why can't you have a beer with your buddies that you have fought with.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  296. polondia

    As with other comments, I am in total disagreement with lowering the drinking Age. I lived in Poland and have seen what drinking, culturally, has done to there younger generation, for generations. The same in Russia and in Scandinavian countries.

    The reports are clear of high suicides among the youth, depression, violence against their families, friends and harm to themselves. The drinking usually leads to them engaging with drugs. No diference here
    among Americans who drink and do drugs.

    I have heard since after the Vietnam War, the youth in this country say, if they can fight and vote, why it's not legal for them to drink. Well, the answer is simple, you need control of your mental and physical faculties to do all those things.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  297. james porter

    I find the alcohol policies regarding age repulsive. I call them 'selective maturity.' A person is mature enough to raise his or her hand and join the armed service and possibly die for his country...sure. A person is mature enough to get married, conceive a child and begin raising it...sure. An 18 year wants to buy a beer...hold on a minute. If the person is mature enough to do all the other things let them buy alcohol...if they can't buy alcohol don't let them join the armed forces, get married, vote etc. At least then there would be no double standard. I was always annoyed when then President Reagan's administration came along with the rule that a state had to raise it's drinking age to 21 or its highway safety traffic grant from the federal government would be reduces. If a state raised its drinking age he took the credit if it didn't he could reduce their HTSA grant and help balance his budget.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  298. Peter

    Based on all the other rights and responsabilities of an eighteen year old, it seems that one ought to be allowed to consume alcohol legally. However, one cannot ignore the decrease in DUI deaths, which seems to correspond to the incease in legal drinking age. Even if more young people drink dangerously in private under the current law, at least they avoid putting others in danger though drunk driving. If the law encourages 18-21 year olds to put themselves in more danger, at least it effectively deters them from putting innocent bystanders in danger.

    I am a twenty year old college student and I support underage drinking. However I do not believe the current law ought to be changed.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  299. Mike

    Heidi

    In 1970 I tried to buy a pitcher of beer and was turned down because I was 19 y.o., the next day I went to an Army base in Oakland on my way to Viet Nam. Old enough to bleed for your country but not to drink in your country. Go figure.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  300. Jimmy Kim

    Heidi, the drinking age should be lowered to 18. I am 18 year old ADULT citizen of the United States of America. I can join the military and die for my country. Not having the right for me to drink is unfair! If i were to commit a felony I would be charged as an adult. Yet, I can walk into a bar and be denied a drink because I am too young.

    We are adults too. Those who oppose the movement don't understand that. They think we are too immature and incapable of responsible behavior. They have to start giving us more credit.

    As far as I'm concerned when you turn 18 in this country, you are an adult. Stop discriminating against the young population. If you haven't noticed, what ever it is that they are trying to do to stop underage drinking isn't working. IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE!

    August 31, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  301. SloppyJalopy

    Of course the drinking age should be lowered to 18. I am 19 and I feel that a few bad eggs ruined the whole dozen. Kids drink and get silly because most think its "cool" to get "totally wasted." Then "adults" see this and draw the conclusion that teens can't hold their liquor and we are not allowed to drink. I think that if i can go to war and fight for my country, vote for the president of these United States, and have adult responsiblites, then I should at least have the right to walk in to a bar and have a drink. God Bless America

    August 31, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  302. joe

    Yes and No... one's attitude and or belief system are much more difficult to legislate than a simple yes or no. Most in our culture view to have or have not alcoholic drinks as a legal right. Even if this right isn't linked legally to our so called "bill of Rights" we tend to treat it as such. Seems to me the most applicable approach is education. This education process should be at home and church.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  303. Ryan

    Having grown up in the UK, where the drinking age is 18, and having attended an Ivy League university in the US, I can confidently say that the 21 age limit does far more harm than good. In most European countries, the UK included, alcohol is often (and should be) introduced to children by their parents at the dinner table at the age of 15 or 16 – a small glass of wine or half pint of cider or shandy. In this way, the responsible consumption of alcohol is taught at a relatively early age. By the time the age of 18 is reached, most young adults have had enough experience with alcohol that they know their limits and will be less likely to feel the need to overindulge. In the US, the age limit of 21 helps to create an image of alcohol as a forbidden fruit. This means that once even well educated teenagers such as my colleagues at university get the opportunity to drink (either through turning 21 or obtaining a fake ID) they drink to excess. One of my enduring memories my freshman year was witnessing the excessive, out of control drinking of my peers. For me, it was childish and immature, but for them it was seriously harmful to their health, leading to sickness, hangovers and, occasionally, trips to the hospital. It should finally be noted that road death statistics due to alcohol are far lower in European countries where the drinking age is 18 than they are in the US.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  304. mike danson

    The drinking age should be lowered but not to 18. I have discussed this with many people my senior. As a 22 year old who has been in the military since 18, I can see the attraction to lower the age to 18. However the biggest issue that used to be had was high school seniors having a few beers at lunch than returning to school intoxicated. One of my former teachers said it best. His issue wasn't with 18 year olds being to young to know better but rather keeping the schools a sober environment so everyone could learn skills needed for adult life.
    Before I enlisted in the military I lived in Michigan. Right across the bridge the legal drinking age was 19 (in Canada). There was even a huge legal issue about 19 year olds' who had designated drivers getting ticketed and sometimes arrested for drinking underage. Thankfully Michigan Supreme court put a stop to it. The United States and specifically the states that border Canada lose Millions a year by forcing their young adults to travel to another country to enjoy something that considered a trivial pass time to those who consume it legally.

    All I ask my government to do is consider what Canada already done for their youth. Remove the thrill of 21 and instead allow young adults to learn responsible drinking habits while stimulating our own economy.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  305. Savannah

    I think the age should be lowered, but with certain conditions. Binge drinking is a part of popular American culture, and a re-education about alcohol is in order. If the next generation of American children were raised on a policy of responsibility, not restriction, the allure of alcohol being this "forbidden fruit" would be shattered. Prohibition didn't work in the early 20th century, and it isn't working now.

    "Of all the nations of the entire world, the U.S.is the only country to maintain this extreme social experiment. The other countries that have tried it (Ukrainia and South Korea) have concluded that it doesn't work and have abandoned it." (David Hanson, Ph.D., State University of New York at Potsdam)

    August 31, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  306. Theresa

    Yes, the drinking age should be lowered. I believe that if your adult enough to sign up to die for your country , your adult enough to drink. Military bases let these young adults drink.
    I see a lot of older people on the news and in the paper with 3- 7 DUI'S, until they kill someone you don't even know they are out there.
    Age does not make a mature adult, making the right choices does.
    I have seen teenagers 14 act more responsible then a 50 year old.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  307. john

    The delusion that being able to vote, work, or join the military makes you responsible is asinine therefore everyone should stop using them as excuses. Adults can't even be responsible with drinking but we want to debate lowering the drinking age which will make it, in essence, even more accessible to high school students. Most kids these days can't take responsibility for their actions today because parents just keeping giving them everything they want so now let's give them alcohol for their high school graduation.

    In response to Rellim you are a complete idiot. I hope the first drunk 17 yr old military person hits you head on so you can re-think your stupid statement for a split second and your family then claims your body.

    Tia, very wise and I congratulate you.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  308. Sarah

    I feel that if they were to lower the drinking age now, many 18-20 year olds might take advantage of this sudden change.

    Hopefully, like others have stated, that if the drinking age is lowered, the appeal for drinking will be lowered too.

    I do like the idea that if the drinking age is lowered, then responsible parents will be able to teach their kids about safe drinking habits, so that when they do run off to college and get drunk at parties, they will know their limits and make smarter decisions.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  309. Leah

    I do not understand the "brain is not developed enough" argument because those under 21 are entrusted to vote, given the right to drive a car, serve in the military, and are allowed to SMOKE CIGARETTES! Im sorry but if you are going to argue that alcohol is going to stupify the youth because of its toxins, then why is it perfectly fine to smoke? Why is it the "underdeveloped" population is given so much responsibility?

    August 31, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  310. Mya Weirich

    Age is not the debate, drinking should be allowed upon graduation from high school. This keeps alcohol out of high school but allows it in college. Most college students drink because its cool because its not allowed. Once I turned 21 I stopped drinking. Requiring high school graduation not only will decrease high school drop outs it will provide a place to teach alcohol education prior to being approved to drink. Currently there is no education because in high school the only response is do not drink.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  311. Samm Smith

    Living on a college campus, underage drinking is everywhere. In the dorms and off-campus. Drinking already happens at an early age. But, that does not mean that everyone who starts drinking early will become an alcoholic. Even now, with the age at 21, parents need to be parents and teach their children how to drink and what to be aware of. I am all for lowering the drinking age. For me and a lot of my friends, drinking is a social thing. Like going to the bar with a couple of friends, or going out to dinner and having a drink there. My friends and I do not drink to get drunk or black out. We were taught by our parents (most of our families have alcoholism in them. Personally, I have had several family members go to rehab) how to drink.

    I also agree with the statement that if we are able to buy cigarettes, get married and serve our country, why can't we drink too?

    August 31, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  312. denise

    Do these officials have children 18 yrs. old? Why incourage these students and take a chance of them getting behind the wheel of a lethal weapon? It happens enough now! Why can't they instead find ways to eliminate the problem? Like incentives for not drinking during college or even high school. Tax breaks for the wealthy for helping a student through college (without drinking) instead of ones that only lets them get richer. Instead of lowering the age for this, why don't they raise the age we send our young people into war to 25? Maybe we could hang on to our young people a little longer and allow them to be better trained. Why do these officials always want to take the easy way out? Play they good fight as Teddy would do!

    August 31, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  313. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    This is the kind of issue that causes me to have the following thought: "I love my country. It is the morons who live here I have a problem with."

    A person who is old enough to go to Iraq and die (and kill) for their country, cannot have a beer. Stupid. This is especially frustrating when we send them to die with lies about WMDs. Anyone who supports a drinking age of 21 is a judgmental jerk. If we are not going to lower the drinking age to 18, then we should raise the recruitment age to 21. But our government will not do this. They need ignorant people they can send to "die for freedom". Never mind that those they send are not even free enough to have a beer. The authoritarian mentality of Americans must end, or we will fail as a nation. Government is there to protect me from other people. Government is NOT there to protect me from myself. Once you accept that it is, you have surrendered your freedom.

    The most annoying argument, is that a drinking age of 21 results in fewer fatalities. This argument is usually just another lie from government officials, whether it is applied to drinking, smoking, or anything else. The safety crusaders in this country must be stopped. Who cares if fewer people die due to a drinking age of 21? We all die, you sniveling cowards. We need to honestly educate people on the dangers of certain behavior. We do not need government mandates from the nanny state to take away our freedom.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  314. Ben Funk

    The drinking age should definitely be lowered. In countries around the world where the drinking age is 18 or lower, the culture encourages a much healthier use of alcohol. Citizens of these countries see alcohol as a means of social gathering and enjoyment – not as a drug or way to escape. They sip and enjoy themselves with family and friends. I have friends who live in France who say they rarely get drunk but drink nonetheless. They appreciate alcohol but don't abuse it, and these kids are 16. The fact that the US is restricting alcohol consumption to people old enough to be charged as adults in a court of law is only furthering our society's want to break the rules and be rebels. People are mad they are being treated as children when they are legally adults. The more you restrict people and tell them they can't do something, the more they want to do it, sneak under the radar. Half of the friends I have say it won't be as fun drinking when they turn 21 because there's no more excitement in sneaking past the law. What kind of culture does that breed? The fact is, those people under 21 who want to drink can do it and will do it, regardless of the law. These teens sneak around to avoid being caught, and it's exactly that sneaking that causes them to drive home drunk so parents don't know they were drinking and have to come pick them up. If teens are allowed to drink at 18, they won't feel guilty asking friends or parents to pick them up when they party at someone's house. By restricting alcohol, the US is only furthering it's culture of rebellion and recklessness.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  315. Michael Dwyer

    Do more 18-20 year olds die in the service than older service men and women? Should we raise the age to 21 to enter the armed forces then?

    If we as a country decide 18 is the legal age to be an adult, then we have to honor that and not pick & choose to punish some adults over others.

    BTW, some 18-20 year olds may consume alcohol on base, in or outside of the US, depending on location, local laws, and "special" events – another example of the Federal Government telling the States what to do and then doing something different themselves!

    August 31, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  316. Wade

    As far as I can tell, every person on here supporting lowering the drinking age has used one of these fallacies: appeal to common practice, appeal to popularity, appeal to emotion/feelings, biased sample, bandwagon, hasty generalization, ignoring a common cause, strawman, relativist fallacy, and others."

    Like I said, there is no rational, moral justifcation, just idiotic, fallacious excuses for the insanity of using a substance that poisons you.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  317. steven stoffel

    Hi I’m a 19 year old college student from Wisconsin. I started drinking sometime in sophomore year of high school. Now I know now that, that was a bad idea, but by the time I turned 18 I knew a thing or two about alcohol, I knew how much would be too much, now that doesn’t mean I would drink to that limit and stop, it’s just that I knew. I know of people who didn’t know, and would just keep going until they couldn’t anymore, and that’s when drinking becomes fatally dangerous. Now if there was like a driver’s ed type thing informing kids all about the dangers of drinking, starting at 17, they would be able to safely drink by the time they turn 18, or 19. I personally believe that the drinking age should be 19 because that way it keeps alcohol out of the hands of high school students, and only at the college level or after. I just see it a shame when my best friend returned from Iraq for a two week leave, and couldn’t even have a beer.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  318. peter

    Then No military service until 21 either.
    Severe punishment for DWI, including the life in prison for killing someone while drunk. .
    Try Sweden: you lose your car with the first offense, license for 6 months. Jail comes with round 2.
    Why not here? Cause the liquor lobby loves congress. We are our own worst enemies.
    Quit pretending that all teens are alike, theyre not. Try MODERATION for a change, allow small portions, over time, from any age at home, just like my parents did with me. But wait, theyre EUROPEANS and therefore UNGODLY HEATHENS, right?

    August 31, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  319. Em

    Yes I think that is should be lowered. Maybe to 19 instead of 18 b/c 18 year-old's are still in high school. I think 19 is a fair compromise.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  320. Professor

    As a professor at a state university who works closely with freshman, my experiences have led me to agree that the drinking age should be lowered. The evidence that the change 25 years ago has reduced deaths does not take into account the great leaps in automobile safety during this time, such as required seat belts, that have been huge contributors to declining death rates. Further, it would be far more beneficial to students if they could learn their limits on alcohol in a safe atmosphere, rather than going to off campus parties where who-knows-what is in the punch, hosts are unknown, and passing out in an unfamiliar apartment can lead to serious personal security problems. I would prefer that these students learn to drink on campus, where heavy drinking can be monitored and university security personnel can watch out for intoxicated students and get them home safely or ensure they receive medical attention if needed. College is a time to learn to be a responsible adult, and drinking to enjoy rather than blackout is one of those lessons. For those who do not attend college, it is prejudicial and infantilizing to suggest that they are able to make the biggest decision a person can make – to risk their lives for others – yet are not responsible enough to learn how to drink beer. I heartily support the alcohol education/license idea as a way to end the underground, unsafe, binge drinking that has not waned under this selective prohibition and applaud efforts to continue this conversation so that we can truly prepare our new adults for responsible, safe, and productive lives.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  321. Jessica

    A lot of people comment on this issue by saying that the drinking age should be lowered to 18 because of the fact that you can fight and die for this country at that age. My 18 year old sister is in the United States Army and that was her choice, but dying to the hand of a drunk driver would not be. The way we think in this country is due to our Puritanical roots that founded this country. Because of which have established its prescence in our laws and everyday thinking. Therefore, my stance is that the more you prohibit something the more dangerous it will be but until we begin to change our thinking and truly separate church from state we will continue to have people who rely on substances to cope with certain ideals that have seeped into our living, culture, and everyday lifestyles (if you dont know what I mean learn your history). Dont lower the drinking age in this country, it will be dangerous.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  322. Justin

    Being 19 and in the military, I have see my fair share of underage drinking, myself included. What people tend to leave out about the whole topic is, Teens will drink regardless of the legal age. Sure it makes it more difficult when your not 21, but fake ID's aren't hard to obtain, and finding a buyer for alcohol is even easier. Teens are going to continue drinking anyways, why not make it legal? Sure more deaths in car accidents, but instead of teaching how to safely consume alcohol. All that is taught is to not underage drink. Kids find it cool to drink alcohol for some reason. For the first few years, if the age is lowered, kids may go wild. But once it becomes the norm. I believe the statistics will go down.

    I can take a bullet for my country but I can't kick back and drink a beer?

    August 31, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  323. Loren

    I spent a year of high school in Germany, and kids learned to drink alcohol responsibly and in moderation at home, at 16, before they were allowed to drive, at 18. As a result, drinking and driving were far less common, and children did not need to hide their drinking activity.
    The fact that so many teachers are worried about their students drinking before and during school seems ridiculous. Schools can prohibit alcohol, just as they do guns, and discipline children who break the rules. We need to focus on increasing personal accountability in children, not removing their personal freedoms.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  324. Robert Monti

    Yes, it should be lowered to 18. Teaching responsible drinking is the answer. Since they are considered adults in other important avenues, the present age limit is ridiculous. To force the states to comply by withholding transportation funds is a form of blackmail. Having access to a small glass of beer or wine as a kid made it no biggie for me to have a drink as a teen. My three sisters had the same access and when we became adults two drank no alcohol and one sister and I drink very little. We treat alcohol as just another beverage. (age 79)

    August 31, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  325. Monica

    My parents lost a dear friend to an under-age drinker... I think that it is a very controversial issue, however there are more important issues to deal with rather than under-age drinking. Besides, Heidi, if the age is lowered again? I believer it will have more massive consequences for those who do not know how to drink responsibly or even mature enough to handle the whole big picture. MY RESPONSE... UHHH, NO!

    August 31, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  326. Noel

    If we were truly serious about reducing alcohol-related traffic accidents, we'd lower the drinking age and raise the driving age such that young people learn to drink before they learn to drive. The current approach is unfair, unenforceable, illogical, and out-of-step with most of the rest of the world. It's also just plain crazy that a parent who has a beer with his or her 20 year old child is breaking the law.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  327. Mick

    I dont get it.
    If we are useing: people can vote, drive out of state and even got to war ( ya, the last one is on the persons belifes) to lower the drinking age then we as a country are thinking in the box. We should be thinking about uping the age on all the above matters. we should raise the age for voting, driving, and war. If we cont. thinking about lowering the age drinking then the govt. will raise all the other laws to change the way we live. Most under 21 years oldsdrink at some point in life, It I think is still to young. Younger people drinking means more people driving to voting boothes, a humve and aross state we need to up the age for drinking and yes I almost 22 years old so Im not a old wise guy but its about money (think ER vist for bengesh drinking it cost hunds of dollarls) and over all safety.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  328. cwest

    18 should be the drinking age. There will always be binge drinking no matter what the age is. I know a lot of 21-50 year old people that still go out and drink every night.

    also the argument that M.A.D.D. always has is drunk driving will go up. People that Drunk Drive are always going to drunk drive until something happens to them or family. Age does not make a difference, people that are 18 can sign up for the service (a life decision). they can also get in a car and kill someone wile drunk (a life decision).

    August 31, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  329. chuck

    it is simple, if they can die for their country and vote, they should be given the same rights as any other american adult. i never understood this, it is a no-brainer, try leaving the RELIGIOUS RIGHT AND MADDOUT OF IT, IT IS NON OF THEIR BUSINESS. by the way i am 53 yrs old, i am not a mad 18 yr old, i find that most people my age, older, and younger feel the same way about this subject.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  330. Tara Askew

    I believe that is should be raised to at 23yrs of age.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  331. Chris Harris

    As stated above, I am strongly in favor of lowering the legal drinking age but at the same time I would suggest it is a good idea to, at the same time, introduce a zero tolerance for drinking and driving until 23 or 25 years or age.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  332. Patricia Williams - California

    Absolutely not! And yes, at 18 you are legally able to serve and die for your country. But do we honestly want to add additional medical issues upon our men and women who serve. At a time when health care is a great concern in our county. As a veteran, I see overwhelming amounts of my comrades in our VA Hospitals addressing issues of PTSD, ALCOHOL and DRUG abuse and dependence (on waiting list to get help). The next time you see a homeless person or someone you perceive to be a drunk, ask them when they started drinkind, and if they are a UNITED STATES VETERAN!

    August 31, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  333. Jaclyn

    I'll be 21 in 3 months – I used to believe the drinking age should be lower but now that I'm about 21 I'm kind of happy it wasn't 18. I've matured a lot since 18 and I believe I would have gotten my self into some bad situations drinking at 18.

    If the drinking age was to be lowered I believe the driving age would also have to be lowered. Right now you get a license at 17 – I wouldn't want someone with a license for a year to think they can go to a bar and then drive home.

    Also if the drinking age was 18 it be much easier for people who are 16 or 17 to get someone to purchase for them.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  334. Wade

    Leah:

    Read my posts.

    The only reason alcohol and tobacco continue to be legal is because of the tax revenues the government makes off them, and because of the wealth and power they have given certain families, of course at the expense of our verifiably insane human population, including most people who have responded to this blog.

    By every common and clinical use of the word "insane" it is rightly applied to anyone willing to drink something that knowingly makes them stupider, and it is rightly applied to anyone willing to use a substance which knowlingly causes cancer.

    If these ridiculous substances weren't on the market, a significant portion of the medical industry wouldn't even be needed. Then doctors and scientists could work on other problems instead of having to be concerned with mouth, lung, and liver cancers, and all the injuries and deaths from alcohol related accidents and violence.

    You are conditioned and manipulated by brewery families and tobacco families through false claims and propaganda to believe their product is somehow going to make you happier, even though it is well known and documented that it is nothing more than an addictive cancer-causing downer.

    Now we have a brain-dead culture where the same guy who has a p.h.d. in biology is nevertheless addicted to a mind destroying, disease causing agent.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  335. Chris D

    Personally, I do not see how any good will come of this, this only gives students the liberty to drink freely without the fear of getting caught or anything. There are already problems facing not only everyone, but today's youth and their future, why is this such a concern?
    There's also the fact these people who drink drive, and most college student, well most under-aged students as well binge drink. Should they drive while intoxicated, get involved in a car crash, they and not only them but the other person (if there is one involved) may or may not survive this crash. Every night when I'm driving home from work, there is the fear of me getting involved in a crash.
    Please take into consideration that PEOPLE DIE from this, be it alcohol poisoning, or driving under the influence.

    Young people are fighting, giving their lives for their country and the people living in it, not so that 18 year old's can drink! but so that THEY can live and have some sort of protection.

    If you want to drink at 18, give them a permit, take those privileges away if they break any of the rules. kind of like a driving license.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  336. m in chicago

    it should be 21 but the law should be for all States. When one State has 21 and another 18/19, it encourages young people to drive to drink which is a big problem.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  337. Dennis McBride

    I say lower the age to 18 years old for one year. By then people will realize without a doubt, it is a bad idea. Give the kids what they want for one year.....They won't believe anything we say, until they experience it themselves.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  338. Donny Ganton

    Yes it should be lowered, if our government and the american people are willing to send (18 – 21) these young adults off to war to maintain our freedom than by all means they should be able to drink. It makes no sense to me that they can die for this country, vote, get married and have a family, pay taxes, but cannot drink. I'm 49 and have served in the armed forces for over 30 years, being able to drink at 18 never hurt my driving record or career. Let's face the facts they get the alcohol when they want too anyway, so what's the point. The present laws encourage hiding and sneaking around.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  339. Ron Denney

    I am 61 years old and I have always believed and still do that anyone old enough to join the military and potentially die for our country should have the right to vote and have a drink if they want.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  340. Mick

    As I read the blogs I see people write if you can got to war then you shiold have a cold beer. Thats crazy crazy crazy. If you can make a life changing decsion about killing someone at 18 then it shows us how inmuture a 18 year old can be. A 18 year old cant find the place we he she is going to fight on the map. Realy do we want a cold beer for some one who cant find a diff country or even know the diff about a persons religous belfies. What I trying to say is NO 18 year old boy, girl, any race relg. back round can make a true decsion on going to war so why are we using it as a "stepinng stone" for allowing to lower the age to drink. War is a huge life allerring decsion do you realy think that a person that gose to war realy deserve a beer no they need to find a good doctor. Im going to hear about this from so many people.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  341. Walt

    In Ohio when I was younger between 18 and 21 we were able to drink what was know as "low beer", beer under 3.2% alcohol content. Upon reaching 21 year of age we could than drink high beer and hard drinks. Always thought this was a good arrangement. It allowed social drinking with out the feeling of being alienated.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  342. Professor

    As a professor at a state university who works closely with freshman, my experiences have led me to agree that the drinking age should be lowered. The evidence that the change 25 years ago has reduced deaths does not take into account the great leaps in automobile safety during this time, such as required seat belts, that have been huge contributors to declining death rates. Further, it would be far more beneficial to students if they could learn their limits on alcohol in a safe atmosphere, rather than going to off campus parties where who-knows-what is in the punch, hosts are unknown, and passing out in an unfamiliar apartment can lead to serious personal security problems. I would prefer that these students learn to drink on campus, where heavy drinking can be monitored and university security personnel can watch out for intoxicated students and get them home safely or ensure they receive medical attention if needed. College is a time to learn to be a responsible adult, and drinking to enjoy rather than blackout is one of those lessons. For those who do not attend college, it is prejudicial and infantilizing to suggest that they are able to make the biggest decision a person can make – to risk their lives for others – yet are not responsible enough to learn how to drink beer. I heartily support the alcohol education/license idea as a way to end the underground, unsafe, binge drinking that has not waned under this selective prohibition and applaud efforts to continue this conversation so that we can truly prepare our new adults for responsible, safe, and productive lives.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  343. Richard

    Why have a "drinking age" at all? Having a specific age assigned to an activity like drinking only increases the anticipation and makes it seem like something it's not. If you take away the thrill of sneaking around and getting away with something then it just becomes an ordinary, everyday activity available to anyone. And linking the decision to volunteer for military service with the 'right' to have a drink is juvenile and ridiculous because the converse argument holds no water–that because one is of legal age to drink that they should be allowed to fight for their country. One clearly has nothing to do with the other.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  344. Professor

    In addition, more open conversations about safe vs unsafe drinking can be held if we include everyone in the conversation. Students do admit that they don't admit all of the drinking that they do for fear of recriminations. However, I agree that we should also consider the age of 19. Most freshman turn 19 during their first year. And, we should also make the adult age the same for all activities. If their brains aren't developed enough for "mature decisions" before 21, then they also should not be able to make the decision to own deadly weapons, give their lives in war, make contracts, or be legally responsible in a myriad of other ways. A loaded gun is no less deadly than a drunk behind the wheel. How is it that one category is Ok under this "undeveloped brain" category but another is not? We need to make a clear decision in this country regarding when a person really and fully is an adult.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  345. Noel

    If people of a certain race, ethnicity, educational background, religion, or gender were disproportionately involved in alcohol-related accidents, should we make it illegal for them to have an alcoholic beverage? Of course not, and I would contend that legal adults below the age of 21 should also be accorded the same legal protection under the constitution.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  346. SA

    who is to say that 18=being mature...there are 30 year olds that i think should not be drinking at all!
    it all depends-thats the tricky thing about age restrictions.its a gross generalization

    August 31, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  347. Dan Renalds

    Yes i do belive the drinking age should be lowered to 18. If the government can trust us enough to vote and sign up for the military were your life and the future of the country is at stake I think that you are responsible enough to partake in the consumption of alcohol.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  348. Jeffrey Bice

    I feel that it should be lowered. Making it legal will reduce the amount of binge drinking because you don't have to go to a party to get alcohol. Also, by making it legal you also reduce the "forbidden fruit" aspect.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  349. WOODY R

    Please, while I recognize that ultimately people cannot be rescued from themselved by others, the ultimate day of my crossing that invisible line into alcoholism would probably have been retarded back in time a tad later if it wasn't socially and legally acceptable to drink alcohol when I turned 18. It took a LONG time to come to grips with what was happening in my life, and despite all the entreaties made by loved ones, I had drunk myself into deafness to their pleas.

    If retention of the 21 year old drinking age saves just one or one dozen or one hundred thousand young adults from spiraling into the alcohol abyss and having to claw their way back with the grace of God, it will be worth retaining.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  350. Jean Paraski

    Of course it should. It's just a matter of common sense, after all, the minimum age is already 18 in most of the western countries. Additionally, people over the age of 18 (and sometimes less) have been drinking regardless of the current law anyways... I think the law should be adapted to the current reality.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  351. MARGARET DECAMP

    YOU WILL NOT GET THIS WHILE YOU ARE ON AIR BUT I HAD TO SEND IT ANYWAY.WE KEEP LOOSING OUR ELECTRICITY SO I AM LATE WRITING. HOWEVER, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT I LET YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK. I HEARD THE INSURANCE GENTLEMAN SAY THAT STATISTICS PROVE THAT DEATH BY VEHICLE FOR 18 TO 21 YEAR OLDS HAS DECREASED SINCE THE DRINKING AGE HAS BEEN RAISED. I NEED THOSE STATISTICS TO WITH EVERY OTHER CONTRIBUTING FACTOR. I WOULD THINK THAT THE REQUIREMENT OF SEATBELTS AND OTHER SAFETY DEVICES ON VEHICLES HAS CONTIBUTED TO A LOWER NUMBER OF FATALITIES. IF WE LEFT IT TO THE INSURANCE COMPANIES TO SET THE REGULATIONS AND LAWS WE WOULDN'T EVEN BE DRIVING. FOR THEM MONEY IS THE BOTTOM LINE. WHEN I WAS 18 FOR ME IT WAS LEGAL TO DRINK BEER AND WINE IN NORTH CAROLINA. AT SOME POINT IN MY TWENTIES THE LAW WAS CHANGED. I HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS AND HAVE BEEN PRIVEY TO LOTS OF INFORMATION CONCERNING TEENAGE DRINKING. WAKE UP AMERICA. TEENS ARE DRINKING MORE THAN EVER. THEY DO IT IN APARTMENTS, FRATERNITY HOUSES, THE WOODS, ON THE BEACH, IN HOMES WITHOUT SUPERVISION, AND ANYWHERE IT CAN BE HIDDEN. I DON'T CONDONE UNDERAGE DRINKING BECAUSE I DO NOT SUPPORT BREAKING THE LAW. IT IS WRONG TO BREAK THE LAW IN ANY WAY. HOWEVER, I UNDERSTAND WHY IT HAPPENS. IT IS NOT JUST COLLEGE STUDENTS THAT DRINK UNDER AGE. THOSE WHO DO NOT CONTINUE THEIR EDUCATION, GO INTO THE MILITARY, GET MARRIED AND /OR GO INTO THE WORKFORCE ARE DRINKING. THEY GET OLDER PEOPLE TO BUY IT FOR THEM AND FAKE ID'S ARE NOT HARD TO COME BY. MAKING MORE COMPREHENSIVE LAWS WILL NOT STOP DRINKING. I BELIEVE THAT BINGE DRINKING IS MORE COMMON THAN EVER BECAUSE THE SOCIAL SETTING IS NOT OPEN FOR 18 YEAR OLD ADULTS. PLEASE NOTE I SAID ADULTS. IN THIS COUNTRY THE AGE OF ADULTHOOD IS 18. YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN CARRY GUNS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. THEY CAN GET MARRIED, WORK AND PAY TAXES. IN FACT ANYONE OLD ENOUGH TO PAY TAXES SHOULD BE ABLE TO DRINK BEER AND WINE. THE OTHER GENTLEMAN WHO SUGGESTED SOCIETY BETTER PREPARE YOUNG PEOPLE FOR ADULT PRIVILEGES IS CORRECT. WE GIVE DRIVING LESSONS AND WE GIVE SEX EDUCATIION. MAYBE RESPONSIBLE USE OF ALCOHOL SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN HIGH SCHOOL. I DO BELIEVE THAT RAISING THE DRINKING AGE HAS BEEN DETRIMENTAL IN THAT IT HAS MADE DRINKING UNDER 21 AN ADVENTURE. IT HAS INCREASED BINGE DRINKING BECAUSE YOUNG ADULTS FEEL THEY HAVE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ALCOHOL THEY HAVE AT HAND BECAUSE AFTERALL THEY MIGHT NOT GET ANYMORE ANYTIME SOON, ALSO THE PLACES THEY DRINK ARE NOT CONDUSIVE TO RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR. DRINKING IN BARS AND RESTUARANTS WHERE SOME DECORUM IS REQUIRED IS A MUCH SAFER WAY TO DRINK. ALSO, HAVING WINE BEFORE OR WITH A MEAL IS RELAXING AND SOCIALABLE. THE LAW PUTS 18-21 YEARS OLDS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THAT ADULT BEHAVIOR. THEY CANNOT GO INTO A RESTUARANT AND HAVE A GLASS OF WINE SO THEY GO INTO A BASEMENT, ETC. WITH NO FOOD ON THEIR STOMACHS AND DRINK TO BE SOCIAL. YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE TO BE SOCIAL AND I THINK THAT DESIRE TO BE SOCIAL AND BE "GROWN-UP" OVERPOWERS THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR AGE MAKES IT AGAINSTH THE LAW. THEN THEY DRINK TOO MUCH BECAUSE THEY CAN BECAUSE WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS ALREADY TABOO. ADULTS WHO SAY RAISING THE DRINKING AGE HAS HELPED WITH THE PROBLEMS OF SOCIETY ARE FOOLING THEMSELVES. IT HAS ONLY MADE DRINKING MORE DESIRABLE TO THE YOUNG WHO ARE REBELIOUS BY NATURE. I THINK CLOISTURED DRINKING HAS PROBABLY INCREASED RAPE AND UNPROTECTED SEX. YOU CAN SEE HOW I FEEL. I AM NOT A DRINKER MYSELF. I DRANK IN COLLEGE. HOWEVER, IF THE AGE OF RESPONSIBILITY BY LAW IS 18 SO SHOULD THE DRINKING AGE FOR BEER AND WINE. 18-21 YEAR OLD SOLDIERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO SOCIALIZE WITH THEIR PEERS IN PUBLIC. YOUNG TAX-PAYING CITIZENS SHOULD BE ABLE TO SOCAILIZE IN PUBLIC. THEY SHOULD ALL BE TAUGHT THE PROPER USE OF ALCOHOL AND WE HAVE TAUGHT THEM THE PROPER USE OF CONDOMS. ALSO, I BELIEVE THAT AVERAGE SOCIAL DRINKERS ARE MORE RESPONSIBLE THAN EVER WHEN IT COMES TO DRIVING AND DRINKING. MY DAUGHTER WAS HOME THIS WEEKEND AND SHE WAS THE "DD" ON SATURDAY NIGHT. EDUCATION IS KEY IN PROMOTING RESPONSIBILITY. WHERE WE CAN REDUCE THE ALCOHOL RELATED DEATHS IS THROUGH THE COURTS. IT IS SHAMEFUL THAT PEOPLE GET IN THEIR CARS AND DRIVE WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OVER AND OVER AGAIN (EVEN AFTER BEING CAUGHT OVER AND OVER AGAIN). THAT IS A FLAW IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM. ALCOHOLICS ARE ALLOWED TO DRIVE AFTER REPEATED ARRESTS. THEY SHOULD GO TO JAIL ON THE FIRST OFFENSE AND SHOULD BE MONITORED LIKE PAROLEES ARE. OF COURSE I HAVE RECENTLY HEARD THAT MONITORING PAROLEES ID NOT BEING DONE VERY WELL. LOWER THE DRINKING AGE, EDUCATE YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT RESPONSIBLE DRINKING AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF IRRESPONSIBLE DRINKING, AND ENFORCE THE LAWS ABOUT DRIVING AND DRINKING 100% WITHOUT ALLOWING LAWYERS TO NEGOCIATE AND THE DETERRENT WILL BE THERE. ITS NOT TEENAGERS BUT HABITUAL OR ADDICTED DRINKERS WHO CAUSE THE MAJORITY OF ACCIDENTS INVOLVING ALCOHOL.
    SINCERELY, MARGARET DECAMP

    August 31, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  352. Wade

    Donny Ganton:

    The "Get the alcohol when they want to anyway" because it is sold to them and they are brainwashed into wanting it.

    No offense, but if you are 49 years old one would think you would have the moral and rational capacity to realize the real issue isn't even a matter of "18 or 21". The real issue is the immorality and insanity of anyone of any age who drinks alcohol, not just some specific age group.

    Once again, need we say, "Bandwagon".

    Just because YOU did it, or just because an alleged majority did it, doesn't mean it's right morally or rationally.

    Every time you pro-alcohol crowd read the newspaper or watch the news on television or radio, and learn about an alcohol related injury or fatality, go look in the mirror and congratulate yourself, congratulate the breweries, and congratulate the endless line of bars, convenience stores, and lately even drive-up liquor stores for this tragedy.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  353. Lisbeth Johansen

    I am European and the drinking age where I came from is 18, and at that age very few are old enough to know the damage alcohol does to you. How can one compare getting married to drinking alcohol at that age? Drinking destroy. I do not think that it should be lowered. If we were all responsible individuals we would not need the law to tell us what we can and can not do. Alcohol makes you do and say things you normally wouldn't do. I live in a place close to a University and we have a lot of students renting here. There are over 300 units here, a pool, spa and a gym which are very attractive to young students. Almost every weekends and sometimes during the week, we have to call the polis out here. We who own and live year around know all too well from experiencing the noise and the bad language after a few drinks. It is impossible for us to use the amenities that we so dearly pay for. They become inconsiderate and angry and destroy our property. We had to make new rules that forbid the use of alcohol outside our condo (some do anyway).We had to change the pool hours, we had to spend lots of money for a new fence which some used to climb to get in after hours and again the language and the yelling and screaming is unbearable and it is impossible to get any sleep. At that age it is an exiting time because they are now considered adults, it means moving away from home and not having to be told by their parents what they can do and not do. It is the same here; they DO NOT like to be told what to do. Where I came from we could not buy alcohol as easily as in the US and it is very expensive and the driving and drinking is almost non existing because of the strict drinking laws. Some laws are good and some are bad, but lower the age limit for drinking is not good. NO from me. Thank you.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  354. bozzuto

    Im sure that it should go down to 18. If you asked me when I was 18 I would've said 'yeah for sure'. I dont see much point to it and I feel like the govt is grasping straws to fill the deficit. If they do change it I think it should be 19 like it was many years ago not 18.

    My views differ on decriminalizing marijuana though. I think they should do that for sure because of the money that goes into enforcing it is alot and I feel like that way they could control it better than making it illegal.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  355. bozzuto

    Im not sure that it should go down to 18. I made a typo my bad.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  356. amanda warncke

    heidi,
    i think the drinking age should be lowered for armed forces personnel only. if they can go into combat at 18 years old then they deserve to have a few drinks to wind down. however most teens are not mature enough to handle the effects of alcohol, so if it was lowered for those who are fighting for our country make it so the bars or restraunts use their military i.d. as form of identification if the person does not have a military form of i.d. then they don't get served.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  357. j

    The drinking age should be raised to 100. If you've reached that mark, I'm sure you're due a drink. But only one.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  358. Theresa

    I am in favor of the drinking age being lower. Sure, you can make the case about responsibility and if it lowered to 18 15 year-old will be drinking but, the truth is, they all already are. I know people who have been drinking since before the age of 14. Why? Because alcohol is treated as this forbidden fruit. The harder it is to come by, the more secret is it, the more someone will want it. I mean, everyone knows the moment you step into college, there is alcohol everywhere but, the kids that go off the deep end are the ones who were forbidden from drinking. If alcohol were more readily discussed and acclimated into our culture, it would become passé to binge drink, because it is something that is just there. I had a friend who had parents that did not restrict her from drinking their wines at dinner and any other time and she found that drinking was not as big a deal since she had been able to do it her entire life.

    In addition the cases for binge drinking and drunk driving because of age, the people who do it, are going to do it regardless of drinking age.

    I do agree that having parents being able to monitor their kids and teach them good drinking habits early, I believe will create a more responsible drinker.

    As for making a case to raise it over 21, I mean I believe that is just asking for more trouble. Making it more and more elusive does not stop anyone from obtaining it, they just have to get slightly more creative.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  359. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    @ peter

    Your ideas for severe punishment are not realistic. We need to focus on what can actually be done, as opposed to advocating laws to satisfy a personal desire for vengeance. The reality is that alcohol is the drug of choice for politicians. They are never going to pass laws that will result in jail time for themselves.

    Where is the logic in leveling heavy fines, then removing a person's transportation to work? How do we expect them to pay fines with no income? I agree there should be penalties. But let's face facts: I've seen perfectly sober drivers who are a far greater danger than Jim Bob under the influence of two beers. We have to dispense with the emotional reponses to tragedy and end the witch hunts.

    You cannot give life in prison to a drunk driver. A sentence like that requires intent. Second degree murder is more appropriate. But if you are going to burn people at the stake for drunk driving, then they should be given an opportunity to prove their innocence. If they can negotiate a driving course under the influence better than grandma can sober, they certainly do not deserve a life sentence. As a matter of fact, they should be able to sue the state for wrongful arrest.

    No, I've never been arrested for drunk driving. I am smart enough to know when I cannot operate a vehicle. I am just one who is interested in justice rather than witch hunts. Opening up revenue streams for the government only results in persecution of the innocent. I know two truck drivers who had too much to drink at a bar. They both decided to sleep it off in the parking lot, knowing they could not drive safely. They were both ticketed for DUI when the cops woke them up, because they had their keys on them. The state took money from their families in the form of heavy fines. They made them attend bible thumping AA meetings, which taught them nothing they didn't already know. Not to mention screwing with their CDLs and costing them employment. This isn't justice. This is profiteering on a heinous level.

    My suggestions for some laws? First off, you should have to actually be driving, in order to be ticketed for DUI. Second, we do not need DUI laws at all. Our government does not care about our safety. They care about milking the public for as much cash as possible. We already have laws to deal with DUI: Wreckless endangerment covers weaving all over the road. If you injure someone, assault with a deadly weapon. If you kill someone, second degree murder. No more deferments for politicians either.

    And education, education, education. Teaching people about the dangers of drunk driving is what has resulted in fewer deaths. Stupid people are going to drive drunk no matter what the law says. Punishment is only a deterrent to the person being punished. And even then it is often unsuccessful. It is time to put down the pitchforks, folks. Pursue solutions, not ideology.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  360. Chris

    Lowering the drinking age to 18 is a ridiculous idea! I would venture to say that many of the comments pro lowering the age to 18 are from people who are not yet 21!
    Let us not incorporate being in the military or being able to marry and raise a family into the equation. The only 18yr old kids I've ever seen who are married, have done so to give a child a birthrght because they were irresponsible enough to pro-create rather then to use protection or birth control in the first place. Now someone wants to let them drink too?? Give me a break!
    While I understand the argument about underage service members risking thier lives, then lets allow them to drink once they have produced a valid Military ID as a matter of respect and appreciation of thier service. Once that service has ended, they fall under current civilian laws and wait until they are 21.
    I've never agreed with lowering the voting age to 18 because I don't believe that teenagers have the maturity or wherewithall to make an informed decision on any candidate. I'm sure I'll here lots of comments but those are my thoughts and I'm sticking to them.
    Leave the legal drinking age at 21 and save lives!!!

    August 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  361. Armando

    I beleive that the drinking age should be lowered. There are so many people that are underage that drink anyways. Although the drinking age now is 21, underage drinking is still happening to the exatream. I am a 18 year old guy and I know I can get alcohol whenever i want. All I have to do is call my "buyer". Now I have easy accsess to it, I dont really do it anymore. If the drinking age gets lowered people would not want to do it as much as they do now. In other countrys, there is no drinking age and I have never heard of anything bad about them.....

    August 31, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  362. Casey

    I don't even think there should be a age requirement. Teens are notorious for rebellion. The moment they're told they can't do something, they go ahead and do it anyway. Drinking has become one of the most popular "hobbies" among high school and college students, resulting in many DUI's, DWI's and deaths. There's probably no good way of getting around the illegal consumption of alcohol. If it's lowered to 18 again or even younger, you may still have teens abusing it. If you raise it to higher than 21 it becomes a longer wait, which still creates the possibility of illegal consumption. Alcohol is one of the reasons for deaths and deadly crashes. To put an end to some of that, you would have to make the drinking age lower then the driving age. Make the drinking age 18 and driving age 21. It would give plenty of time for people to get use to alcohol and get over the rush of being able to have it. But that change just isn't going to happen. The smart thing to do would be educating teens in high school and even college (for the one's that go). Have a class that is required to be taken and be passed.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  363. Will

    Yes.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  364. Klajd

    Heidi we have to quite a dilemma, this question has been on people's mind since the sixties. im not hear to argue with insurance companies, im here to discuss common sense. kids, under the age of 21 will drink no matter what the law is, now instead of pushing these kids to move their drinking "underground"; why not lower the age, keep the kids in view, and then make a reasonable profit seeing how we are waist deep in debt. this is just another reason to begin to think about legalization of marijuana with it; or even decriminalization of marijuana.

    August 31, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  365. Wade

    Theresa:

    "If alcohol were more readily discussed..."

    HAHAHAHA.

    You really are a lunatic. Alcohol is already discussed everywhere and all the time you idiot.

    Alcohol is not treated as a forbidden fruit in the U.S. It is in fact literally crammed down your throat by brainwashing advertisements and peer pressure every moment of your life.

    What is a "responsible drinker"?

    Can you give a single reason why ANYONE should be allowed to drink a substance that we all know verifiably makes you stupid?

    No responsible person would drink a substance they already know impairs judgment. That is the complete opposite of responsible, and is the epitomy of foolishness and insanity.

    How can ANY degree of use of a mind-impairing substance be considered "responsible," particularly when there are no medical benefits, and moreover it is known to cause liver disease?

    Pro-alcohol crowd, for the sake of your own self as well as the future generations, stop lying to yourself, and get psychological help for your insanity.

    August 31, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  366. Carol W

    RE: lowering drinking age
    NO!! It should not be lowered at this young age. These teens are just getting out of high school and have no experience at all in the real world and have no idea what's ahead of them for the most part. This not a fair comparison and like apples to oranges. There is a big difference between being able to drink alcohol and fighting for your country. Drinking opens up a whole new world of responsibility issues and dangers and most youth at this age are not thinking about that and all it is to them is a good time with their friends and the more the merrier!! Please do not allow this to happen for the sake of our families and youth!

    August 31, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  367. E.L.TAYLOR

    I have a friend whose 19 year old son had his legs blown off below the knees in Iraq by a roadside bomb. After months of therapy state side, the kids family took him out to dinner doing a weekend furlough from the vets hospital. My friends son was refused a glass of wine at the restaurant because he was considered not old enough to assume responsibility for drinking liquor. Hello????

    As for the Federal Government holding back money for road repair in states that approve under 21 age limits for drinking liquor? I thought my taxes were to automatically pay a percentage for road repair in my state regardless of VOTED in acceptance in these areas.

    If the draft is ever reinstated, will all so-called children under 21 be exempt from serving on the battle fields, putting their life on the line because they are too young to buy booze?

    Speak about a double standard.

    Concerned Citizen

    August 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  368. Andreas

    As a German who just moved to California a couple of weeks ago I find drinking laws in the US quite confusing. Drinking age in my country is 16 and I had been allowed to drink for almost 4 years. Now I moved here and am not allowed to drink. For a lot of my American friends at college it is the first time they can experience alcohol and drink "more than they should". Due to a lack of experience with it they completely overdo it. A 21 year old who is allowed to drive and is just experiencing the "joy" of drinking is much more dangerous then a 16 year old. Making experiences like that in life is very important and helps you control yourself when you are older. I started drinking when I was 12. 🙂

    August 31, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  369. Deena

    As a Canadian who celebrated her 19th birthday in Canada (19 being the equivalent of the 21st birthday in America), and lived in the US for her 21st birthday, I can safely say that while I don't think the drinking age should be lowered to 18, Canadians have it right with 19.

    I think that 19 is a good age – I think 18 is too young and 21 is too old. After living in both countries for both legal birthdays, I have noticed that those who begin drinking legally at 19 are more mature and drink less (and are less interested in the partying lifestyle) as they reach 22, 23, 24, than those who begin drinking at 21. This stunts the maturity – now the 21 year olds who should be graduating college and beginning their careers are spending all of their free time getting loaded because they can.

    I believe that 18 is obviously too young, but 21 is clearly far too old. A balance between the two allows the person to mature and get used to life as an adult and gives them the opportunity to realize what they are doing while they are drunk may have consequences – something most 18 year olds would be too excited to realize.

    August 31, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  370. MG

    Absolutely lower the drinking age to 18. "Drinking age" and "Drinking and Driving" are separate issues. 9 out of 10 DUI's are given to people over 21 years old anyway, so assuming that lowering the drinking age will increase drunk drivers isn't really valid. The other argument of "kids are stupid" doesn't work either because at 18, they become adults, and are therefore no longer "kids". Educate them as kids so that when they become young adults but are still in the rebellious stage, they might come to some smart, safe, compromise.

    August 31, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  371. D

    21 is too old. As someone who celebrated her 19th b-day in Canada and her 21st in the USA, I can safely say that by the time my 21st birthday came around, yes I enjoyed the occasional party or drink, but I was no longer out to get hammered. I enjoyed social drinking, but was mature enough to realize when to stop. The problem with drinking in America is that there are far too many kids drinking underage, but the age limit is so high that many of them do it or they will be in the working world and STILL not able to drink. The other thing I noticed was that 21-year olds would then spend the next two years drinking their faces off because they could!

    I strongly believe that 19 is the perfect buffer age: it gives the 18-year olds time to grow into their lives outside of high school, but doesn't force them to wait for three years to start drinking – stunting their maturity.

    August 31, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  372. JJ

    I do believe that the age should be lowered. If all the focus wouldn't be placed on the age there would be less of a effect that this age restriction has. The final responsibility rests with the parents, if they teach their kids the repercussions of their actions it wouldn't be such a problem. The 3 year gap isn't such a factor since the accessibility is not as difficult whether or not a person is of the age limit.

    August 31, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  373. sanjay aggarwal

    I think the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18. 18-20 year- olds are not minors, and keeping the legal age at 21 only increases alcohol consumption among minors. All states currently have laws that say you must be 21 to buy alcohol; however, many states have laws that allow limited alcohol consumption among minors. The world would be a better place if we lowered the legal drinking age to 18.

    August 31, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  374. Nancy Harris

    Heidi:
    Lowering the drinking age seems reasonable enough as our young people tend to figure out ways around it anyway. My suggestion is to add another stipulation along with it to RAISE the driving age to 18 !
    This would possibly impact the seriousness and the responsibility of both drinking and driving as they could be judged and jailed as adults.

    August 31, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  375. David

    First of all, lowering the drink age to 18 increases the chances for impaired driving in an age group that already has a propensity, relative to other age groups, for traffic accidents, the under 25 age group, due to inexperience. Secondly, how many states have a drinking age of 18, how many have a drinking age of 21, and how do rates of accidents compare? Third, there's a public health problem in this country with drinking and driving, and facilitating more drinking, making it easier is probably not the best way to address the issue.

    Hannah, not everyone in this country comes from a family that treats alcohol the way your family does. I agree that wine with dinner, a European tradition but also a custom in many American households as well, and alcohol tied to celebrations is a good way to approach consuming wine, beer, liquor, but the question of lowering the drinking age impacts more than the possibility of alcohol abuse, it impacts public safety and public health. Your point is well taken, though, and it would be nice if the enlightened pt of vw you espouse were more widespread.

    August 31, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  376. Norma Patlan

    I don't drink, I used to be a casual drinker but did not like the feeling it gave me. I would wake up with extreme headaches, hangovers and very dyhydrated which would last all day. I don't understand why the government doesn't just ban acohol. What good is there in drinking alcohol? It's nothing but a drug that brings misery into our lives.

    August 31, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  377. Leah Nentl

    Everyone is talking about the military.. I have personally seen 18 year olds in the military drink, and my husband (as a higher ranking Marine) has seen it too, and has to deal with guys like them on a daily basis. It is completely stupid the things they do, the fights they get into, the girls they impregnate, then they come home from war deployment and want to drink more and become an alcoholic. Its sad.

    I understand the statement, but its not just the military that you have to say "Oh they can join and die when they are 18" You can join the police when you are 18 as well, and shot by someone too for trying to protect your state.

    Also, if you let those that have ID cards drink, they can still pass it on to their civilian friends, or they can buy booze for their friends when on leave...and then what?! That contradicts itself.

    FINALLY- KIDS TURN 18 IN HIGH SCHOOL, SOME AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR.... SO WHAT IF SOME GO AND GET HAMMERED DURING LUNCH, IT WOULD BE OK?! OH, AND BETTER, THEY BRING IT TO SCHOOL FOR THEIR 14 YR OLD FRESHMAN BUDDY AND HIS FRIENDS BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE "THE COOL SENIOR"... GREAT IDEA!!

    I drank when I was younger than 21, and I look back and say, "Wow was I dumb"

    August 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  378. Leah Nentl

    Also, with the Military ID Cards, only the dependant ID's have facts on them, such as height, weight, hair/eye color, etc. therefor, how can you really tell... And the ID's have their social# plain as day on the front of the cards... lets all give them Identity Theft from the bartender that's really looking to mess up someone's life.

    August 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  379. Carrie

    I think it would be a good idea to lower the age from 21 to 18 It might help with the whole concept of drinking. You know how teens are like oh I am so getting drunk but when the turn of age its like I am so over it I dont need to drink. So if the age was lowered maybe it could help the stigma of drinking and not getting caught where as if they were of legal age it would be no big deal to drink.

    August 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  380. Steve, Ohio

    In Europe, and much of the civilized world, binge drinking and alcoholism rates are much lower than here in the United States. If we take the excitement out of underage drinking, by lowering the age, we won't see 16 year olds binge drinking behind our parents' backs. Rather, we'll see a decrease in drinking across the board.

    If you make something illegal, people will want to do it just because it's illegal. As a 22 year old male in college, I support lowering the drinking age to 18.

    August 31, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  381. Jeff from Dallas

    The drinking age should NOT be lowered.

    It's a problem with peersets. It's legal to drink at 21 so it's easy for the 18, 19, 20 peerset to drink (i.e. obtain alcohol). If you lower the drinking age back to 18 the peerset becomes 14, 15, 16, 17. We already have too large of a problem with youth alcohol consumption... lowering the legal drinking age will only make it worse.

    August 31, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  382. Dennis McBride

    People like to comment about "being old enough to fight for our country, should be old enough to drink". Why do you think our Military wants men at an early age? It is because they are vulnerable. They can be molded. Their young minds can be trained and programmed. That's why it is difficult to send a 45 year-old man to Military basic training. Young minds do NOT need alcohol..

    August 31, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  383. Scot in Canada

    18 is considered an adult and can't have a beer with friends, thats horrendous. Are you aware kids living near the Canadian border will cross just to drink before 21.

    August 31, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  384. Sam

    It is crazy to even think that they would lower the drinking age before even considering legalizing pot. Your just putting more drunks on the road. Lowering the drinking age to 18 would be mayhem because most of High School seniors are 18, they are ready to graduate, have fun and be dumb.

    August 31, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  385. Pastor Dennis

    For one, being a Christian pastor and counseling young adults on drinking (smoking & drugs), I can tell you that the legal age for drinking should be 23, not 21 or 18. And the foolish notion that if one goes to fight for our country, that they should be able to drink doesn't "hold water!" I was once in the U.S. Marines myself, in Viet-Nam at 18, and liquor impaired my senses so that I couldn't think straight! Liquor, smoking, drugs- they're all vices and our society really doesn't need them, especially our young. Bless you Heidi...Cordially, Pastor D

    August 31, 2009 at 9:08 pm |
  386. Rima Kurdian

    Yes, it should be lowered. If and 18 year old can be sent to his or death in a war zone, he or she should be allowed to drink an alchoholic beverage.

    Everywhere except in the Muslim world this is allowed.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  387. Carlos S

    People will drink because they are told not to, yet lowering the age may increase alcohol consumption around the age of 18 but there should be a limit on the amount of alcohol that people 18 can legally drink. Currently there is no limit for people the age 21 and over. If the age limit is lowered then there should be a certain legal amount.

    September 1, 2009 at 12:23 am |
  388. Laura

    I recently graduated from college, and suffered greatly because of the binge drinking that goes on on most campuses. Binge drinking is associated with increases in vandalism, racial and sexual violence, and aggression. This social damage is of course not to mention the physical damage it does to your body and the academic damage it does to your grades. By my senior year, all of my close female friends had been a victim of some form of sexual violence; alcohol had been involved in all of the instances. I personally had been victimized twice. Because of this, I am a very strong advocate to lowering the drinking age to 18, where people can learn to drink with parental supervision instead of learning through excess. I think binge drinking partially arises when freshman and sophomores manage to get their hands on alcohol, they drink as much of it as they can while they can; as they do not know when they will be able to get some more. The drinking age makes it much more difficult for older students and younger students to socialize, as a lot of the older students go out to bars and the younger students are left to binge drink in their dorm rooms. This takes away from a sort of mentor-ship that could arise between older and younger students. I believe lowering the drinking age would alleviate this friction. However, if the drinking age is lowered, the driving age should be raised.
    Laura

    September 1, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  389. Laura

    Also, human nature tends to be attracted to novelty. Alcohol is a novelty to everyone at a certain point in his/her life, which makes them want more of it. Exposing people to alcohol at a younger age will take away the novelty of it earlier in life. Also, a lot of younger students feel they should be legally allowed to drink anyway, so they don't abide by the law. Keeping the drinking age at 21 is as futile as keeping marijuana illegal. It serves no point.
    Laura

    September 1, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  390. James of Aspen Hills

    As one who works with yuong people, I assure you the drinking age should not be changed!

    Most students who are 18 years old (and many who are as old as 21!) are not capable of making good, rational decisions because the pre-frontal lobes of their brains (the executive parts used for impulse control) are not fully developed and will not develop fully until these kids are about 25.

    As a concerned adult, unless we are willing to accept more carnage and death on our highways, I assure you the drinking age should not be changed! .... In fact, it should probably be increased to at least 25 years of age!

    September 1, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  391. Adam Chap

    18-year old kids can elect the leaders of this country, fight overseas for this country, but can't return from war and have a beer (legally) in the country they fought for? Give me a break.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  392. Forrest

    The biggest issue I see with the drinking age is the question of maturity. How is it that I am mature enough to take another human beings life, in the name of my country, but I am not mature enough to drink a beer at the end of the night

    September 1, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  393. Spring

    No! I don't see how lowering the drinking age would lessen the amount of accidents and arrests for DUI. I don't feel it will make any difference. If anything, it would have 10-15 year olds start drinking and the next thing you know, people are going to want it lowered to 13. Even though some 18 year olds are mature enough to handle alcohol does not mean all are. Sometimes I feel the drinking age should be RAISED because there are 21 year olds who cannot handle their liquor.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  394. CoolGayDad

    As the parent of children ages 15 – 24 I firmly believe the legal age should be lowered back to 18. It certainly hasn't lowered the number of young ADULTS drinking, they just do it covertly and illegally and most of the time it involved a vehicle. For the poster who stated that lowering the age to 18 would cause kids to start drinking at 15....guess what? They already are drinking now.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  395. Jim

    I think that the drinking age is fine the way it is. When I was young i was drinking underage and nothing was ever done about it. There should be some responsibility on parents to make sure that there kids are safe. As for other countries kids are allowed to drink at a young age which is fine. The difference is that they do not have cars like alot of teenagers in united states. Its simple Booze and gasoline do not mix. At the age of 18 there are too many kids who don't understand that. The age should stay 21 unless you are in the military. If you are able to go to war for our country you should be able to have a beer in a bar

    September 1, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  396. rachel

    If our troops can fight a war at 18 then they should be able to drink a beer. You are an adult at age 18 and should be treated like one. Underage drinking will always be a problem no matter what the drinking age is.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  397. Max Zulauf

    Drinking age must be lowered to 18...but not until we have an adequate public transportation system in this country. I recently graduated from college where we had a public bus system, the only problem is it stopped running at 11:00PM. With bars closing at 2:00AM, a public transportation system that ran later would effectively eliminate any chance of drunk driving. This type of infrastructure needs to be established everywhere in our country, especially in densely populated university communities where this debate seems to take the most concern.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  398. charles

    absolutely it should, for this one reason. IF YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH TO DIE AND VOTE FOR YOUR COUNTRY, YOU ARE DEFINITELY OLD ENOUGH TO DRINK!

    September 1, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  399. Fay

    I definitely think that the drinking age should be lowered and even eliminated, but we can't expect there to be no negative consequences if we do so. We can just all of a sudden change the drinking age from 21 to 18 because of the current mindset of teenagers today. Teenagers are so eager to drink!! Therefore, we need to make a bigger effort to educate students on how to drink responsibly and enjoyably and the dangers of irresponsible drinking before lowering the age.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  400. Dave J.

    Heidi;
    YES lower the age. I was in the Army at 17 in 1972, I was out in Nov of 1975. Per our gov I was old enough to kill people but not old enough to drink. Even today we have young folks on the battle lines and still not old enough to drink? Also to comment on other countries and there drinking age, there age is much lower or non existant. I live outside Detroit and the drinking age in Canada is 19. The young people just go over the border. I see very little issue except that Americans are way to ignorant and conservative. BTW I am an American, born in S. Indiana in 1955.
    Have a great day;
    Dave

    September 1, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  401. Michael

    This debate has been about false moralizing. As a recent college graduate, I can honestly say that most people start drinking at least by 18, but many start by 15. What good is it doing? Most people don't learn until they've made mistakes, so lets try a different approach and lower the age, at the very least so colleges and universities aren't forced to push their students off campus. Let kids experiment in a safe environment.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  402. David M

    The drinking age probably shouldn't be lowered. Even at 21 people still don't have much common sense. BUT I do think we should raise the age for military service to 21. If you are old enough to die for your country you should be able to buy a cold legal beer.
    -David M, Flagler Beach, Fla

    September 1, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  403. Alana

    No I don't think it should be lowered. I am a Canadian and where I am from the drinking age is 18. When kids turn 18 they hit the bars and when they turn 21 they cross the boarder into the US to drink there too. I don't think a legal age really matters because kids will drink if they want to and where they can but the difference in maturity is a lot in those 3 years.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  404. Nikkala

    At the age of 18, children become adults. they are able to vote and enlist in the military. They are able to make thousands of decisions on their own. However, they are not legally able to drink. As children, we are told that once we turn eighteen then we can do whatever we want. Then, why do we still have to wait 3 years to drink? Alcohol is put on pedastal of prohibition that intices everyone to touch the forbidden fruit. Prohibiting people from drinking has the same effect as telling your child that there are fresh baked cookies in the cookie jar but they can't have one. Of course, the child is going to sneak a cookie. You tell eighteen year olds that they can't drink, and of course they are going to sneak around in order to do it. In order to combat the high number of alcohol related crimes and deaths, children should not be taught that alcohol is bad and that you can't touch it until you are 21. Obviously, that strategy isn't working. Instead, children should be taught that once they reach the maturity level of whatever the drinking age is, then alcohol is okay in moderation. Parents should show their kids by drinking in moderation in front of them. Children should be taught that there is nothing wrong with a beer or two after work but should also be taught that no one likes the beligerent fool who drinks until they pass out. Yes, alcohol can have its negative effects. However, like everything else in this world, alcohol can be beneficial when used properly and with moderation.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  405. John Turner

    Michigan lowered the drinking age in the early 1970s with sobering results. Drinking increased dramatically among teens. Bars sprung-up on college campuses selling sugary drinks to lure teens. Incidents of binge drinking and drunken driving offenses rose in teens. Michigan repealed the law and restored the drinking age to 21 two or three years later.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  406. Michelle

    As a 22 year old college student, I do not think the drinking age should be lowered to the age of 18. No matter what the age is, people are going to drink weather their of age or not. Plus, I think that if it's lowered to 18, that means that it will allow high school seniors to buy alcohol. Last year at the University of Kansas, there were 3 alcohol related deaths, all to whom were college freshman. The University now requires all new freshman and transfer students under the age of 22 to take online alcohol tests to "educate" them on the dangers of alcohol consumption. I think that if there needs to tests for students on the causes and effects of alcohol, then clearly 18 is too young for legal drinking. Also, I think at the age of 18 all teenagers attain a new sense of freedom and empowerment against their parents, and are still clouded against the real dangers and challenges that the world has.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  407. Sandi Thompson

    An 18 year old is convicted as an adult because his judgement is of an adult, An 18 year old is old enough to enlist in armed services and die for are country because his judgement is of an adult, I am no longer able to access my daughters medical records without her permission because she is considered an adult -- BUT we don't think an 18 year old has the judgement to drink responsibly? GIVE ME A BREAK!

    September 1, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  408. helen vedner

    coming from the uk residing in the usa for 20 years and a us citizen.i have never been able to understand how at 18 you can see adult films,smoke VOTE,and most of all GO TO WAR but you cannot have a drink.
    it makes no sense to me making consumption of alcohol 21.i understand its a huge responsibility but isnt voting and going to war?either make all 21 or all 18.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  409. Veronica

    Absolutely NOT! The US cannot compare itself to other countries, it's a whole different culture out there. Americans (not all, but a lot of youth) tend to drink to get drunk and it's not like that in other countries. Of course there are exceptions, I am not generalizing here. Coming from a Latin American culture, we were brought up with wine in our household on a daily basis. I did not want to go out and get drunk when I turned 18, it was not a big deal to drink.

    If the drinking age is lowered, things will get worse before it gets better, as with most things. Why take that chance? why should I have to worry more that my 17yr old driver is going to be out there with 18yr old drivers that have been drinking?? Whether it's one beer or two, it can kill. It's bad enough as it is.

    Parents that provide alcohol to their kids' friends even in the privacy of their own home is extremely irresponsible. The mindset of parents that believe providing alcohol to their kids at home will prevent them from drinking elsewhere is totally irrational. If you gave them permission to drink, no matter the age, they will take that permission and run with it!

    Look at all the ads, commercials and billboards for fast food, enticing folks in the US to eat more and add to the severe obecity rate in America. Lowering the drinking age will promote more ads and commercials for the younger generation to drink, but let's not forget the fine print they must add, if you drink, drive responsibly. That to me is what my teenagers call an epic fail.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  410. Steve (Pennsylvania)

    I think that the legal drinking age should be kept at 21 years of age.
    Students out of high school have enough to worry about than adding another challenge to the plate. Also. i do not think that an 18 year old has enough experience to handle such even though there is underage drinking in the US. The question is will it help by giving them the option, or will it hurt by allowing them to make the option.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  411. Rick

    A person can vote, enter into contract, fight and die in combat, get married, but can't have a glass of champagne at his or her own wedding?

    Of course the drinking age should be lowered to 18, as it was in many states when I came of age in the 1970's.

    Underage drinking is the responsibility of PARENTS, not the government.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  412. Buddy Lee

    Absolutely, the drinking age should be returned to 18 years old...
    IF a person is old enough to vote, be sent off to fight in a war, then I think they should be also allowed to have a drink, at that same age...
    Now, MY approach would be to make 18 the legal age for everything: getting a driver's license, voting, joining the military, gambling, jury duty, being tried as an Adult for crimes, and yes drinking... As it stands now, there are three separate ages for these things, 16 to drive, 18 to vote and go off to potentially die in a war, and then 21 to gamble and drink alcohol... This seems rather incoherent and confusing at best, practically schizophrenic at worst... One age for all things considered adulthood, should be set... While it would mean raising the driving age to 18 from 16, it would lower the drinking and gambling in the casinos age from 21 to 18 years, and leave the age to vote and join the military at 18, where it now stands... This would also apply to crimes committed by Kids... They would only be able to be "tried as Adults" once they were actually Adults, meaning 18 years of age... Under 18, would mean that people were Minors in all aspects, and become Adults at 21 years in all aspects as well...

    September 1, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  413. Kevin

    Our oldest son started drinking at age 16. We didn't approve (we NEVER provided him with alcohol) but clearly the genie was out of the bottle. We worked with him to teach him to be safer. For example, if he stayed out late, we'd call him and insist that he spend the night wherever he was located. It was tough but he made it.

    Today, he is an EMT and about to graduate from a major university. He now watches out for his friends to help keep them from making fatal mistakes.

    Had he started drinking at 21 or at 18 when he went to college, we would not have been there for him. I am sure that the outcome would have been far different had that been the case.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  414. Andrew

    I believe that the opponents of the !8 year old law are primarily concerned with consequences of irresponsible drinking (driving drunk). If an adequate amount of energy is displayed by bartenders, bar owners, law enforcement, campus security, and other types of authorities there would be much less of an issue. You have to remember: having a beer has absolutely nothing to do with driving a car, they are two completely different activities. However, we find problems when they are combined, regardless of whether you are 18 or 45. I believe the age should be set at 18 and more energy should be focused on how to decrease the amount of vehicle operation following alcohol consumption.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  415. jadak

    the drinkin age is fine where it is im 21 it took long enough for me to get here

    September 1, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  416. liberal.college.guy

    YES! It will prevent a lot of issues that surround underage drinking.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  417. Thomas

    I think that the legal drinking age shouldn't change.
    I think what could change is you should be able to have an alcoholic drink when you're 18-years old, only if you have a Military I.D.
    That should be the only exception.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  418. Beverly

    We have this backwards. We don't need to change the drinking age, we need to change the age at which our young people can join the armed forces and the age at which they can vote. At 21, one is better able to make decisions that will alter the rest of their young lives. This should be the age to join the service, vote and the age to drink. Where is the debate on this.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  419. Patricia Kuderer

    Rather than lower the drinking age, we should raise the age that Americans can be drafted into the military to 21. And while we're at it, we should raise the age to drive to 18. This would not only save $$, but more importantly, it would reduce accidents and save lives.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  420. Jorge

    Oh yeah. I agree with who ever thinks that the drinking age should be lowered. It would in my eyes bring up sales in alcohol purchases. But thats not why i would like it available to kids who are currently minor. It just would make it easier for a 19yr old like me to get alcohol instead of having my older friends do it. i'm responsible and hope anyone else who drinks does it responsibly too.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  421. Brittany Newell

    Most people have started drinking at 18 anyways; maybe if it were legal some of the allure would be gone. I lived in Australia for a while, where the drinking age was 18, and everyone was so calm about it. Kids never put themselves in dangerous situations to get alcohol and many were given the opportunity to start drinking while they were still under the supervision of their parents. This seems like a much better alternative to being exposed to heavy amounts of alcohol for the first time when they go to college. Parents could get the chance to raise more responsible drinkers.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  422. ChrisK

    18 year olds make better soldiers than drunks. We can't keep drunk adults from driving, do we really need to add more drunk teenagers to the mix?

    September 1, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  423. Kathie

    Absolutely not. Recent advances in brain research show that there is significant changes in the brain that occurs between the ages of 17 and 23 that impedes the young adult's ability to make reasonable, sound decisions. Furthermore, the way the alcohol affects the brain in that age group is significantly different than any other age group. It may take longer to become drunk, but the damage to the parts of the brain undergoing maturation during that time can be significantly and irreparably damaged, causing a lifetime of alcohol abuse and dependency problems as well as learning disabilities, decrease in cognitive functioning and more. We owe it to our young adults to make sure that they have every fighting chance to live long, productive, fulfilling lives. Giving them a free pass to drink to their heart's content is not going to do this. Becoming more responsible in education and giving this age group other alternatives to drinking is what will be of most use to them.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  424. Matt

    The whole drinking age debate is ridiculous. The US is the only country I know of that requires you to be 21 to drink. It is also a FACT that as a high-school person leaves and goes to college, they are more likely to drink and break the law. Why not raise kids in a culture that does not make it so taboo to drink. It would also cut down on college related drinking problems & binge drinking (the US culture loves this but it is very uncommon to drink this way elsewhere in the world).

    Mothers against drunk driving have gone so far overboard that you cant even have a glass of wine with your wife & drive home without risking getting a DUI. People need to take responsibility and blame the people who cause accidents & not the honest, law-biding person.

    It would, however be very hard for the culture in the US to change to one that can handle people drinking at 18. It has become such a part of the US culture I do not see it changing any time soon.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  425. Stephanie

    Starting off my freshman year in college this week, I have already been long exposed to alcohol and other substances. I truly believe that it is unfair that citizens that are 18 are allowed to risk their lives in the perils of war, but they are unable to have alcoholic beverages. If the drinking age is lowered to 18, alcohol will not be the taboo it is today on college and high school campuses, and it will lose the allure of being something that is prohibited to underage teen, and will soon become a underrated past time. We are now considered adults at the ripe age of 18, and we should be treated as such.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  426. originalbeauty5

    I can vouche for this!.. If your of age at 18 to buy a pack of cigarettes that can kill you as well as cause cancer, I think one should be "of age" to buy a beer. Also, it's pretty hipporcritical that if you get into any kind of trouble with law at the age of SEVENTEEN, you are considered an adult yet your not "grown" enough to be able to purchase alcohol. I also agree with the Military point, at 18 your mature & old enough to sign your death certificate but your not mature & old enough to buy a can of beer.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  427. lori

    im in favor of lowering the age For drinking if not then we should raise the age For parenthood And marriage if we DONT then we continue to send a message that drinking requires more maturity than raising children And marriage two things taught to be not takin lightly

    September 1, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  428. Julie

    I don't think the issue is with either age as the legal drinking age. The bigger issue is the inconsistency. It should be either one becomes an adult at 18 or one becomes an adult at 21, and all laws for adults apply at that time. My preference would be to raise everything to 21, when the brain has developed more and judgment has improved.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  429. Tina Harmantzis

    Hi Heidi,

    My dad would like to know why don't they consider lowering the drinking age to 20 first and see how it goes. Then if it goes well, maybe to 19 and so on. Why lower it 3 years all at once?

    Thanks,
    Tina H.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  430. originalbeauty5

    Thomas... VERY GOOD comment!.. I give that comment 2 thumbs up!

    September 1, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  431. Steven D. Cords

    Ditto, it definitely should be lowered to 18. They are Adults and are not to be controlled! Paine, Thomas "The Rights of Man."
    There never did, there never will, and there never can, exist a Parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controlling posterity to the "end of time," or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed, or who shall govern it; and therefore all such clauses, acts or declarations by which the makers of them attempt to do what they have neither the right nor the power to do, nor the power to execute, are in themselves null and void. Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the age and generations which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies.

    September 1, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  432. Ed Craig

    If the drinking age is lowered to 18, there will be a big problem at the high school level. High school freshman and sophomores will now be able to get the seniors to buy alcohol for them. A 21 year old will not have a lot of contact with a 14 or 15 year old and might have a little more maturity not to purchase alcohol for young teenagers.

    September 1, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  433. Bandit

    im a vet. i believe it should be lowered @ 18 you are resonsable enough to vote and go to war and die for your country but u cant have a beer that is very wrong. if you can't have a beer then you shouldn't be able to vote buy cig's or even fight in a war.. i personally have seen an 18 yr old get killed in combat and he never had a drink... i once offered him a drink and told him that i thought since he was in combat he should be able to have some.. his reply is but its against the law and i will not break it i can just wait till im 21... but he didnt make it. my heart still goes out to his family and all of our troops that can't drink but can DIE.. Just make it beer and not whiskey how hard is that not very...

    September 1, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  434. leonard

    At 18 a person is considered old enough to vote for our leaders, kill and/or die for our country,and face any criminal actions as an adult, yet they are not mature enough to buy alcohol. This is a double standard that I am sure started with the best of intentions. My feelings are simple either raise everything else to 21 or make the legal age 18. Either one is acceptable to me.

    September 1, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  435. James L. Beers

    This is a subject that really should be addressed. I think ANY person in the military should be legally allowed to drink alcohol. If you carry a vaild military ID you should be legal. I, like many served in Southeast Asia in the Early 70's. I was 20, I could not legally drink in my home state, yet as an Air traffic controller, I could work multi million dollar aircraft, work shot up pilots returning to base in the monsoon and work Air Force One. But could not have a beer (legally) with those same pilots. People that say youth cannot handle it, well I think if you can put your life on the line for this country you should be able to drink to it if you so desire.
    Thanks

    September 1, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  436. Rose

    The 8-"teen" year old brain isn't developed yet! They are not responsible enough for themselves, either. Go to college and find out what it takes to pay for college on your own and figure out just how much fun it is to party all night and lose your money spending it on drugs and beer. You don't get anywhere, but a hang-over! These kids need more focus and desire to succeed. Yes, this is your life, so deal with it (sober).

    September 1, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  437. Dave

    The argument that 18 is old enough to vote and old enough to go to war so its also old enough to drink doesn't hold any water. When an 18 year old votes, does he also bring along his underage friends so they can vote too? When an 18 year old joins the military, is he given a weapon and sent off to battle with no training and no discipline? Of course not. I'm all for allowing 18 year olds to drink, but only in controlled environments where they learn the discipline and responsibility that must go along with alcohol consumption. Giving unrestricted availability to alcohol simply based on birth date is historically a bad idea.

    September 1, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  438. Cami

    If we do not believe that 18 year olds have the mental capacity to drink alcohol responsibly, we should also examine whether or not they have the proper mentality to be established as adults and make other adult decisions. It is true that the human brain continues to develop through age 25. Perhaps we should raise the established adult age from 18 to 21. Maybe we should stop sending our 18, 19 and 20 year olds to war before they are mentally ready. Perhaps we should discontinue giving such authority to 18 year olds because they are overall still children in mind. We force them to "grow up" by declaring them adults at 18, but we know they are truely unprepared for all life decisions. Hence, this is why we do not allow them to legaly drink.

    September 1, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  439. Juan

    drinking at age 18 or 21 is not that important, but what is important is to educate our teenagers about how to drink in a responsible manner.

    September 1, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  440. Robert Lake,MI

    Absolutely NOT! They should however make alcohol illegal and legalize marijuana! You would have to be a complete idiot not to see the differences! Alcohol is a family killer, and all it has become is an excuse for someone who has done something wrong! They should also raise the driving age to 21, it would save a lot of lives! The only ones to say no to this are the ones who are to lazy to take their 16 year old somewhere or simply just tell them no!

    September 1, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  441. Joey

    all of you guys are stating the same thing either oh you can die for your country and vote but you cant have a beer or no, young people are irresponsible why can no one respond to anyone's post with a viable and mature counter argument i am 18 years old and i believe that if you want to say we are immature why do you make us work for a living why do we have to pay taxes for someone elses child or the elderly who have done nothing for us we have to keep them alive and were not responsible? im pretty sure ive lost over a thousand dollars since i started working towards social security that i will never see but im irresponsible? sometimes i wanna sit down and work on my homework out of my 200 dollar college book that i was responsible enough to buy and pay for classes with a blue moon in my hand if were not responsible enough as young adults what makes you responsible enough as older adults? is it that you have had kids? i'm pretty sure half of my friends have kids are they responsible enough? is it that you work full time? i work full time and attend school am i responsible enough now? what is it i would love to be enlightened?

    September 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  442. Joey

    not to mention i am proclaimed mature enough to be charged as an adult and expected to handle charges on my own but im not mature enough to have a beer? why can i not ride on my parents or those who are 21 if they are mature enough?

    September 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  443. CHERYL SCHEXNAYDER

    We can come up with all kinds of ideas why not to make drinking legal at 18. They are going to drink anyway. Some kids start at an early age with or without the parents knowledged.

    September 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  444. Katie Jones

    Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18? To be real with America, it really doesn't matter to anyone if the distributers vote to change the drinking age to 18. Why? This wouldn't matter because if teenagers wanted to drink in this day and age they are going to do it anyway. They may not be able to purchase it from the store but I pretty sure they know someone who will purchase it for them who is 21 and older. The distributers probaly want the age to change so that they may get more sales, and change the world for the worst because alcohol can kill you. If this new legal age changes this may change the world dramaticly for the worst. I beleive that the drinking age should be 21 because your body is fully through growing and its normal process. On the other hand i beleive drinking is bad for you and if its not red wine you shouldn' drink at all either.

    September 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  445. serena

    Yes, the drinking age should be lowered to 18. Nothing is really stopping anyone out of high school from drinking anyway.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  446. Susan Tate

    As the mother of 3 daughters I believe that the drinking age should be lowered to 18. I have found that no matter what the drinking age is teenagers will find a way to buy it no matter what the legal age is and as a result they tend to binge drink which is very dangerous! In Europe children are taught to drink responsibly at a much earlier age than the United States. For example they are served watered down wine at an early age with dinner and therefore don't treat alcohol as a "big deal". I don't believe that Europe has the same problem that we do with teenage bingers because they have been taught to drink responsibly. If anything I think we should raise the driving age to 18 or higher so that teenagers can learn to drink responsibly before they start driving. Also I have always thought that is an insane idea that at 18 people are considered adults in all other capacities...they can vote, sign a legal agreement and go to war yet they can't go to a bar and have a beer. Also If the drinking age is lowered college campuses would be able to monitor drinking much better which might prevent a lot of the binge drinking which is so dangerous.

    September 2, 2009 at 8:21 am |
  447. Kurt Hutfilz

    When I turned 18 which was 37 years ago I thought it was the greatest thing there was. By the time I turned 21 the State of Michigan decide that the drinking age should be 21 again. Even at the age of 21, I felt that I was to immature to be drinking at 18. So I feel it should stay at 21. Sure if you want to argue they can fight for there country at 18, let them show there military I.D. and they can drink.

    September 2, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  448. Jason

    Is America divided? Yes!!! Racially divided. It's sad to say but we as Americans need to be honest with ourselves. Because President Obama is African American, he has been critisized more than ever. That is the reason why his numbers are dropping in the polls.

    September 2, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  449. Lisa Bee

    Yes it should be, but not just 18. In the UK children any age can go and drink in a bar. All children under 18 must be out of the bar by midnight. This has led to NO BINGE drinking. They do not have bingers as we do hear in the usa. People there drink responsibly because of this. They also DO NOT have zoning laws which DO NOT allow Pubs/bars to be in neighborhoods. So they don't have a drinking and driving issue either. If we had people in office with even an ounce of working brains, we would make a lot of changes and FIX many of this countries issues. NOT to mention alcohol SHOULD NOT BE MADE WITH GENETICALLY MODIFIED TOXIC WASTE THEY ARE TRYING TO CALL FOOD.

    September 2, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  450. jon

    thats a tuff question.the goverment thinks a man/woman is old enough to die for the country in a foriegn land at 18 ? that tells me the goverment thinks they are responsible enough to carry guns and go to war,i don't agree with drinking i know first hand the damage it does you in the long run,if they can die for the country at 18 ,why can't they have a beer ?

    September 2, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  451. Chris

    Dear Jason: The topic for discussion is not "Is America Divided" ?
    Nor does it have anything to do with our current President!!
    Pick another soap box to stand on!!!

    Now!! Many uninformed people have tried to make the argument that at age 18, teens are going to drink anyway. No doubt those who think this are below the age of 21. Let's assume that the statement is true.
    That certainly doesn't mean that we as adults should make it easier for teens to drink by lowering the drinking age to 18!! People are dying on our highways at an alarming rate due to drunk driving. Many teens already think that they are indestructable, so why on earth would we want to add alcohol to the mix??
    Leave the drinking age at 21 !!

    September 2, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  452. Robert

    Good Morning Heidi,
    I believe that the United States of America has always been divided; one of the main reasons is this country denial of angry white people who constantly get a past from a legal stand point as well as from cnn, msnbc, and fox cable news. America fights the war on terrorism in other countries but refuses to even acknowledge it existence in America, Nazi swat stickers, kkk white supremacy and we say as country we hate Hitler! This is the only country that takes an offense to other countries leaders speaking out, standing watching and unfortunately leading in demonstrations totally insightful, dangerous which is a sad representation for any elected leaders to be a part of. On the other hand the media, judicial heads allow this behavior because of the Constitution (1) – (2) practically I mean Sitting U.S. Governors, Senators, House of Representatives members and most disturbing former Vice President Cheney behavior.
    Come on Heidi call it what is. This country will always have this problem as long as this country ignores the skeletons in our closet. President Obama is the only President I’ve witnessed where his presidency started to be polled the very next day after winning the election. RACISM has strangled this country from its first conception.

    September 2, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  453. colleen brooks, charlotte, nc

    This is not a tough question at all for me. Lower it!! so I can teach my 19 year old kids how to drink responsibly without breaking the law myself. This is a plain out revenue generator for the US economy. Revenue is generated by the court system from fines; the attorneys make $$ hand over fists and it is a VICTIMLESS crime-a 20.9 year old with a beer. The law is absurd and unconstitutional. SC is voting on this in November. Legalize Adult drinking! 18 year olds are adults! duh!!

    Colleen Brooks-50 years old 4 legalized adult drinking, stop discriminating against 18-21 year olds.

    September 2, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  454. Lily

    With as many drunk driving accidents as there are in this country I say get rid of alcohol altogether. I know the law says that 18 year olds are adults...guess what? THEIR NOT!! There's not a whole hell of alot of difference between a 17 yr old & a 18 yr old. I have seen my daughter & her friends that have been drinking.....THEY ALL ACT LIKE IDIOTS! They get loud, abnoxious, vulgar & rude. Not to mention all the adults out there that do the same thing. Most people don't drink cause it tastes good....if people want to be honest most people who drink are drinking to get buzzed or drunk. I have found VERY few 18 yr olds who are very mature. I lost a cousin because of a drunk driver....drunk drivers are everywhere....killing innocent people. But hey! Bring on the alcohol right? As long as the government is making money from it they don't care.

    September 2, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  455. Essence W.

    Let it be known that regardless of whether or not we change the drinking age, there will still be under aged drinking. We could lower the age to 18, but what exactly would that establish? There will still be adolescents that will want to be rebellious and partake in drinking. Just because we pull it back three years doesn't mean that there will necessarily be less underage drinking; it just means that there's more suppliers. In most cases, drinking starts in high school, so why not just lower the age to 14 or 15. Whichever way it goes, it won't solve the problem. Prevention of underage drinking should start in the home and how you raise your children. Yes, I already know that kids these days want to be entitled to their own opinions, but if we raise the bar by setting that example, they wouldn't want to settle for less by indulging in risky behavior. So no, I really don't think there is a point for us to lower the drinking age; if the situation changes at all, it would probably end up getting worse rather than better.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  456. David

    Surprised that the comments for the sept 2 blog post are closed, I do have a comment on that topic though, and hope you can post it:

    Dear Heidi, Well it's not like the two sides of the aisle are curled up together exchanging affectionate kisses, but then as far as I can tell they're not having a knock down drag out fight yet either, or maybe they already did that. Some of this, some of the poll numbers has/have to do with the discussion over healthcare that just before the congressional recess started to become heated, ok sort of explosive. Even so, congress is in recess, the White House on somewhat of a vacation at this point, and the public is getting to know the details and the politics of the healthcare plan. To have success, I think the President has to communicate just how precisely the healthcare plan will work, he will have to get down into the weeds and pretty far down into the weeds. Healthcare is a complex and sensitive issue and people are informed and knowledgeable about almost every aspect of this issue and eventhough some of the attacks against the current legislation were clearly inflammatory, President Obama and congress have to handle that, put people's worries and concerns to rest, and communicate what they want to do. Perhaps compromise at some pt.. I do feel that it would be the best for the country if Democrats and Republicans both can come together for some needed bipartisanship on this issue.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  457. Gerald Grimes

    The drinking age was 18 when I was growing up. There was not rush for teenagers to start to drink. But with the irresponsibiity of parents today, these youngsters make many bad decsions and are not properly guided like in the 60's and 70's with more of a family atmosphere. So I am like many others in that, if you can send a teenager at 18 to die for this country then they should be able to have a drink. Lower the age.

    September 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  458. Joanna Kay

    Lowering the drinking age WILL cause more fatal car crashes! We all know that! No parent should suffer of their child's death because the drinking age is 18.

    September 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  459. Ed Sullivan

    I was working for a small radio station in the early '50's. At age 20 I serviced accounts, wrote copy and ripped and read 5 newscast a day.
    I was rooming with two guys who were a little younger than I. One evening they swiped my vodka bottle, went for a drive, got some beer and ended up running into a tree that was too close to the highway. They both died. I first learned about it as I read the monday morning news to the listeners in Central Oregon during the first newscast of the day. Shocked? Yes! and it made a permanent impression on me. During the 7 years that I read the news on this small radio station, the names of many young people appeared on the newsprint stacked in front of me. Were they all under 21? No, but most of them were. Ed S.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  460. elizabeth

    i think the drinking age should be lowered if 18 year old can go war and die for there country and smoke then we should be able to drink to. i know most people my age want to drink and if they have to drink in a basement or at a friends house cause it is not Legal then they will. there is no reason for it to be 21 IT NEEDS TO BE LOWERED TO 18!! i don't know why it is 21 anyways most other country's drinking age is 16-18 here are the country's that are lower then 21 Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius,
    Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Sudan, Uganda, Tunisia, Zambia,
    Zimbabwe, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba,
    Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru,
    Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Cyprus, People's Republic of China,
    Georgia. Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia,
    Mongolia, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey,
    Turkmenistan, Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus,
    Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,
    Republic of Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta,
    Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia,
    Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, Guam,
    New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tokelau, Vanu, every one of these are 18 or lower

    September 17, 2009 at 3:26 am |
  461. Kimberly

    The drinking age should be lowered because you CANT STOP EVERYONE from drinking. weather its at a party a holiday people are going to do it anyways no matter what... and if you tried..... you would fail. their are such things like: fake IDS and people buying the alchahol for that person whos underaged......so theirs really no point.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  462. Jon Jon

    The drinking age should be lowered to 18 because you can already do everything else and no one wants to wait that extra 3 years to buy alcohol

    October 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm |