Should the drinking age be lowered?
I have to agree with McCardell, the president of Middlebury College:
He notes that
18-year-olds have a right to marry, adopt children, serve as legal
guardians for minors, purchase firearms from authorized dealers, and
are trusted with the vote and military responsibilities. So, he says,
it is not unreasonable to think that they can, with proper preparation,
be trusted to drink.
Our laws restricting things dependent on age are just a little out of sync.
Note that the drinking age is 21 in all 50 states because of the federal law that says the states lose 10% of the highway money if their drinking age is lower than 21. That age is not based on any research that we suddenly understand how to drink responsibly at the age of 21. I think there’s ample evidence that many people have a problem drinking responsibly after the age of 21, so maybe we should spend more of our highway money on things like better public transportation that might prevent drunk driving instead of just trying to delay it until people are 21.