Steve G.

College presidents: ‘Lower drinking age to 18!’

In Civil Liberties, Media on August 19, 2008 at 2:59 am

CNN.com reports:

College presidents from about 100 of the nation’s best-known universities, including Duke, Dartmouth and Ohio State, are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus.

Of course, the socialist/fascist MADD wants to make the drinking age your life +1.

The “national drinking age” of 18 is a great example of the tyranny imposed on the states by the federal leviathan. For there is no “national” drinking age — it’s just that the feds withhold highway-funding money from any state that deviates from its rule of 21.

Libertarian solution: Privatize the roads, eliminate drinking ages at all levels, and let freedom reign.

  1. How about we worry about the students education first!
    Lets not promote legal drinking to the ones that wont drink because they obey the law, but would drink if legally able to do so. How about the colleges teach their students to be lawful and abiding citizens. When I went to school in Ohio, you were expelled if caught drinking or arrested. What happened to that concept. Going back to 18 is so wrong in so many ways. I dont want to be killed by some dipwad college student that has only been driving a little sport car mommy bought him for a year or so and then been at one of these binge drinking parties drunk out of his mind. Im ashamed at Ohio State for being involved in this. We need to remember that they are there to learn. I dont want to go to the emergency room and be treated by a 22 year old quasi alcoholic that partied his way thru college.

  2. I really don’t know quite what to do with Tony’s response, so I will stick to GE’s original post.

    As an interim solution that could conceivably take effect long before all American roads get privatized, how about a prohibition (by Constitutional amendment if necessary) on Federal regulation by blackmail; the blackmail process is used in transportation most visibly (drinking age, blood alcohol limits, seat belts, speed limits), but is also used in education quite frequently. I’m sure it is used in other categories as well.

  3. “I dont want to be killed by some dipwad college student that has only been driving a little sport car mommy bought him for a year or so and then been at one of these binge drinking parties drunk out of his mind.”

    wow. i’m not completely ruling this out. i would just like to mention that the percentage of college students who own a car on campus is less than half of the students currently enrolled in four year degrees. the majority of the cars are owned by upperclassmen as well (near the 21+ age).

  4. Shorter than the percentage of people who still use “dipwad”

  5. The reason college presidents are calling for a change is because they are doing exactly what Tony wants them to do: worrying about student education.

    The research shows that legal drinkers act more responsibly as a whole than illegal drinkers regardless of age. That is, contributions associated with maturity are considered. Therefore, the arbitrary age of 21 leads to more of the type behavior it was intended to supress. (18 is just as arbitrary, but that is a different matter for a different day.)

    First, by actually acknowledging peer-reviewed research and suggesting that maybe, just maybe, policy should at least be guided by such, these college presidents are demonstrating by example exactly what we hope and expect from our students. Now being a good little libertarian, I don’t think the feds have any business defining a “drinking age”. However, if there IS going to be a policy, then it should at least be designed to and evaluated on its ability to deliver the intended result.

    Second, by calling for a policy that could result in more responsible drinking on college campuses, these presidents are demonstrating that they have the students safety and educations as their top priority. They should be commended.

    We are actually discussing this on our campus right now. Those of us that work with 18-22 year olds for a living have first hand knowledge that the research is right.

  6. The drinking age should be lowered again to 18. People have argued that it will increase alcohol abuse in teens, but the truth is there is already alcohol abuse in teens anyway and drinking and driving laws should be more strict across the board, not just to save people under the age of 21. If you’re a bit older you have less value? That seems to be MADD’s stand, and it’s ironic, because the woman who started MADD had a 13 year old daughter who was killed by a drunk driver in his 40’s! What does that have to do with 18 year olds drinking again? Also most other laws apply to 18 year olds, the draft, age of consent, voting age, offenders tried as adults etc… , so if 18 is old enough for all of these laws to apply why not the drinking age? Other societies in other countries, allow drinking for people under 21, and have strict drunk driving laws. It seems to be working for them. We need to stop enticing teenagers, by making alcohol the forbidden fruit, that they just HAVE to try and teach moderation. If we really do expect people to act like grown ups and take responsibility, then we have to treat them like grown ups who will take responsibility. Let’s actually teach teens to use their brains, instead of letting everyone else make the choices for them.

  7. We are discussing this elsewhere but I’ll just say that my kiddos have always drank “underage” at home and abroad and have always been very responsible about it. That said, the drinking age laws don’t work and do contribute to driving excessive drinking underground where it is dangerous. And, as I just paid Little Bit’s dorm fees and tuition for this semester, I’m glad that college presidents are discussing this. Of course Little Bit just turned 17 and her school isn’t a signatory of the Amethyst Initiative so she’s not affected on any level.

    BTW, here’s what MADD should maybe focus on.

  8. How about we worry about the students education first!

    How about you worry about your own, and your child’s own, education, and let me worry about mine and my child’s? Or, how about we abolish the state-funded propaganda mills that churn out cogs in the Regime’s machine and don’t educate but program students? Sounds good to me!

    Lets not promote legal drinking to the ones that wont drink because they obey the law, but would drink if legally able to do so.

    Idiotic. People don’t drink or not drink because of the law.

    How about the colleges teach their students to be lawful and abiding citizens.

    The only legitimate law is that which prohibits the initiation of force, you Commie bastard.

    Tony: PLEASE tell me you stumbled your way to this blog by some accident… Or are you one of these “libertarians” (i.e. fascists) that Bob Barr has “recruited” into the party?

  9. “Of course, the socialist/fascist MADD wants to make”

    Damn, that’s how I was going to start off my comment.

    I live near Ohio State. of course the socialist fascist MADD were on the TV news trying to pressure Gordon Gee to withdraw his support. They were claiming some bullshit about all the lives they have saved and that anyone who even so much wants to debate the issue is somehow offending all the “lives saved” and dancing on the graves of drunk driving victims and all that stuff.

    Gee’s ( Well liked OSU Pres.) response was something all the lines of how he thinks the issue and all possible solutions should be up for debate.

    Any organization or individual who believes that something is untouchable as far as even debating/ TALKING about an issue is a scumbag piece of shit. MADD is a piece of shit lobby.

  10. Did you know that even MADD’s leader left the group and has called out its REAL AGENDA as being “neo-prohibitionist”?

    From wikipiedia:

    She left MADD in 1985. She has since stated that MADD “has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I had ever wanted or envisioned … I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candice_Lightner

    Drunk driving would not be a problem on privately owned roads!

  11. FWIW, I don’t “drink” and never really have or will. I had a couple beers a couple weeks ago. That was probably the first time in 3 years. I could probably count on my ten figures the occasions I have consumed alcohol in my life. I am around 30 years old.

    When I was growing up I was allowed to have a sip of beer when I was 5 or 6. I was allowed wine at dinner if I wanted. When I was a teenager I was always offered a beer at any family get together by all of my relatives.

    None of this made me want to drink. I never felt pressured to drink. I felt like I could decide for myself and I decided I don’t really like ink, but it doesn’t bother me if others do.

    And I cannot think of any point in my life where I could not obtain it underage if I wanted to. The same goes for anyone I knew, even people with no family, no connections,etc. If you are 18-20 and want alcohol, you can get it easily.

  12. When I was growing up I was allowed to have a sip of beer when I was 5 or 6. I was allowed wine at dinner if I wanted. When I was a teenager I was always offered a beer at any family get together by all of my relatives.

    None of this made me want to drink. I never felt pressured to drink. I felt like I could decide for myself and I decided I don’t really like ink, but it doesn’t bother me if others do.

    And I cannot think of any point in my life where I could not obtain it underage if I wanted to. The same goes for anyone I knew, even people with no family, no connections,etc. If you are 18-20 and want alcohol, you can get it easily.

    This mirrors my experience, but I took up drinking full tilt at around Age 25 (30 now), and I’m glad I did. You should, too!🙂

  13. This may not sound very libertarian, but just make a national Age of Adulthood at 18, applicable to everything: voting, serving, drinking, driving, the whole kaboodle. At 18 you’re technically an adult, and if you’re ready for it on the intellectual and emotional levels, fine, and if not, well, then the gene pool will welcome your absence.

    The problem with groups like MADD is that they don’t understand basic science and human behavior.

    Drinking in itself can be harmful to an individual. Of that there is no dispute, just like any other drug or substance ingested to excecss. If while under the influence of that substance one harms another, then there are laws dealing with that harm caused to address that, and they should be applied equally whether sober or not.

    Driving is another story. Driving in of itself is not bad. Billions do it daily, at all speeds, all ages, and in all conditions. The problem is when the action of driving is interrupted. That’s when the trouble starts, when Newton’s Laws aren’t applied. Like when you hit something.

    Yet for some reason, DUI laws exist to penalize potential behavior: you might hit and kill someone while intoxicated, so we must penalize you. Never mind that you could do it while sober as well–the potential increases because you’re intoxicated, they claim. It’s bullshit, though, because it is logically impossible to plan for the unknown. Yes, intoxication reduces reaction time, but that means that a driver is not driving properly for the conditions of the time, including his own state of being. There are laws that already cover that, starting with the Basic Speed Law.

    So the whole thing is a giant sham.

    Me, I shoot pool much better when drunk, but I don’t drink very much at all–I don’t need it, really. I learned responsible drinking from my parents at age 10, in the home. I once failed a breathalyzer at a DUI checkpoint, but I hadn’t had a single drink in 3 months–turns out the cop didn’t wait long enough between tests and didn’t clean the thing right. I challenged that one on the spot and never even got cited. I went to a college where students had blenders in their dorms and wine coolers in their sports jugs in class–and those were the freshmen! The seniors used party balls as fishbowls and kegs as end tables.

    It’s more about control, power, and money than anything else. Fifty years atgo a drunk driver got tossed in the tank overnight to dry out, then sent home the next day. Now, it’s lost licenses, jail time, car impoundment, ridiculous fines, lost job and insurance, and who knows what else.

    Then they use that money to run these ridiculous commercials with the drivers in cars full of fake booze: “Have you been drinking?” “No, officer, my coolant overflowed.” No, officer, I’m carpooling and it’s an indoor pool.” etc.

    It’s all one big sham. If we spent more time on education about alcohol, and less on prohibition, the latter would come naturally from the former. And I don’t mean public funds. I mean in the home and the community, absent government.

  14. Pathetic… At CNN, they have a poll: 16% want the drinking age to be 25! Only 49% say 18 or lower (4% say 16).

  15. This was on the radio this morning and the front page of the paper. I am glad to see this issue getting so much attention. I agree with the university presidents (including the one from my alma mater!) that we should lower the drinking age.

    The 21 drinking age actually increases the amount of binge drinking that occurs. If you go out to the bar, you are much less likely to overdo it than if you have a fridge full of beer and/or a couple bottles of liquor. At the bar, you buy every drink. Also, bars often reward designated drivers as well as keep an eye on how much people are drinking. Many universities–again, including my alma mater–have buses that take people to the bars, so that no one drinks and drives. It appears that colleges are the leading place where you find underage drinkers, so that would be very effective at keeping drunk driving incidents to a minimum.

    The SADD and MADD people are a lot like the drug war mongers. They are so emotionally damaged by whatever event led them to begin their campaign that the can not possibly acknowledge any other solution than laying down the law.These people are controlled by fear, and they in turn control the rest of us with laws like this.

  16. By the way, neocon tReason magazine just published a story AGAINST lowering the drinking age.

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/128200.html

    I thought libertines were supposed to be all for things like this? Must be the Kochs have some sort of financial interest in keeping the age 21.

  17. If you look at the history of drinking age laws, you will note there is a strong correlation w/ voting registrations… Way back when, the voting age was dropped from 21 to 18 as part of the Viet Nam war stuff. At that time, effectively everyone from 18-21 immediately registered, and a large %age then called their congresscritters and said “Congressman, I’m 18 and I want a BEER!” (or equivalent)

    Our Congresswhores, looked at the registration numbers, and saw this big block of voters, and pandered to it… (Remember the only thing they are REALLY interested in is getting re-elected..)

    Time passed, the initial crop of 18-21’s got older and voting wasn’t such a big deal to the kids that hadn’t been involved in the initial lowering, so they mostly didn’t bother to register or vote…

    At the same time, you started getting all these mad mothers making noise about drunks. The Congresswhores looked and saw that there was no longer a big block of 18-21’s that needed pandering to, labeled them a “problem” and took away their freedom in the name of pandering to the noisy mothers…

    The drinking age will come back down when the 18-21’s decide they want it enough to register en-mass, and apply thermal illumination to their congresscritters (When they feel the heat, they see the light…) and not until…

    ART

  18. Privatizing the roads would make the act restricting highway funds for states non-compliant with the drinking age of 21 and would also make the upcoming act supporting the REAL ID Act irrelevant.

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