Linked on the left-hand side today under the PowerBlog Food For Thought is an item from the Wall Street Journal, “College Presidents Debate Drinking Age.”

At issue is concern over the drinking age in the United States (currently 21) and the binge-drinking phenomenon among under-age college students. Groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) oppose the movement among many college and university presidents to lower the drinking age to 18.

Here’s a popular version of how the school presidents’ argument goes:

Moana Jagasia, a Duke University sophomore from Singapore, where the drinking age is lower, said reducing the age in the U.S. could be helpful.

“There isn’t that much difference in maturity between 21 and 18,” she said. “If the age is younger, you’re getting exposed to it at a younger age, and you don’t freak out when you get to campus.”

What is true about these sorts of observations is that culture has a lot to do with how people respond to newfound freedoms or possibilities. When children are raised in a household where responsible gun ownership is taught, for instance, it makes sense that gun accidents due to irresponsible gun handling are less likely to occur (compared with homes with guns that don’t teach responsible gun handling). Where the use of alcohol is not a taboo that can become part and parcel of a young-adult “rebellion” experience, it seems less likely that binge drinking will function as a gateway to adulthood.

To address the concerns of MADD, perhaps if the drinking age is lowered, the driving age should be raised. But one thing we should not be afraid of is substantive debate on the prudence of a particular policy like the national drinking age. As the administrators’ and presidents’ movement states, “The Amethyst Initiative supports informed and unimpeded debate on the 21 year-old drinking age.” This is a law that is a perfect example of the government administration of a positive law put in place in a particular time and context.

Thomas Aquinas’ words about the principle of prudence have special bearing on this question, given the biblical allusion he chooses to employ:

The purpose of human law is to lead men to virtue, not suddenly, but gradually. Wherefore it does not lay upon the multitude of imperfect men the burdens of those who are already virtuous, viz. that they should abstain from all evil. Otherwise these imperfect ones, being unable to bear such precepts, would break out into yet greater evils: thus it is written (Pr. 30:33): ‘He that violently bloweth his nose, bringeth out blood’; and (Mt. 9:17) that if ‘new wine,’ i.e. precepts of a perfect life, ‘is put into old bottles,’ i.e. into imperfect men, ‘the bottles break, and the wine runneth out,’ i.e. the precepts are despised, and those men, from contempt, break into evils worse still.

Thomas’ warnings about imprudent laws are echoed in the arguments of the presidents’ association. John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont who started the Amethyst Initiative, has said that “college students will drink no matter what, but do so more dangerously when it’s illegal.”


  • Dan VB

    Here’s the problem(s):

    1. The entire country is not a giant college campus. Lowering the drinking age because college students will do it anyway says nothing about what the effects will be off-campus. Nor does it demonstrate any concern about what those consequences might be.

    2. The argument itself; “Permit x because people do x anyway” is absurd. Laws generally don’t get enacted because people aren’t doing something. They get enacted because people were doing something that infringed on the rights of another.

    3. What it sounds like, to me anyway, is that college students want to continue to binge-drink, they just want more people to be able to go on beer runs. Let’s be honest, college students aren’t going to all of a sudden start drinking responsibly because the novelty of underage drinking is no longer present.

    4. That being said, I would expect to see a marked increase in drunk driving as college age students tend to still be arrogant enough to think they can get away with driving drunk. Lowering the drinking age will just put more of them on the road after drinking.

  • Scott

    Dan VB:

    You are right that the entire country is not a giant college campus. And simply focusing on the effects on college campuses indeed doesn’t say anything about what the effects will be off-campus. However, your line of thinking does not follow logic further. It is logical to think that if there are fewer drinking problems off campus now, there will still be fewer, even if the drinking age were lowered to 18. There is another inherent flaw in your thinking, which is that if we treat 18 year olds like adults, and expect them to behave like adults that they will rise up en masse and slap us in the face and return to their adolescent ways. This is untrue. Treat a young man as an adult, and he will more than likely grow to become one. Treat a young man as a boy, and he will more than likely revert to it.

    The argument is NOT “Permit x because people do x anyway.” The argument IS “If there is nothing morally reprehensible with x, then why should we treat x as taboo by placing an arbitrary age minimum on it?” Especially when 18 year olds are expected and capable of acting responsibly in regards to voting, military service, the penal system, etc. The drinking age law of 21 is incongruent with all other privileges that are given at the age of 18 signaling a passage into adulthood. Your comment about how laws are enacted has only the loosest connection to the topic of discussion simply because we are talking about the prudence or imprudence of a current law. If you disagree, then defend your point. What rights are infringed upon by someone who is 18 vs. 21 and drinks too much? If your answer is similar to your entire focus of your above alleged 4 problems, then your answer will most likely revolve around drunk driving, but that is illegal in either case. So again, what rights stand to be infringed upon more so if the drinking age is 18 vs. 21 that aren’t already covered by other laws?

    As far as “college students aren’t going to all of a sudden start drinking responsibly because the novelty of underage drinking is no longer present”, no they will most likely not become overnight the responsible adults they are capable of becoming. What can be said is that if there is no pressure to act responsibly, then many young adults will not push themselves to do so until they do feel pressure. 18 year olds are quite capable of making informed and reasonable decisions, what is currently lacking is the expectation that they do so in every area, as well as appropriate consequences when things fail.

    Again, drunk driving is illegal at ANY age, not whether you are 18 vs. 21. I would suspect that those that choose to drink and drive will continue to do so until they feel the benefits no longer outweigh the consequences. If it is drunk driving you are most concerned with, then please be exactly that: most concerned with drunk driving; not an arbitrary age limit on something that is neither immoral, nor unethical, when handled responsibly.

  • catherine snow

    I am a mother of 4, two are in college. Lowering the drinking age makes a lot of sense to me. I believe it will, in the long run, lower the mystique about drinking, that is: remove the urge kids have to try what ever they are not allowed. Making anything taboo invites interest at certain ages.

    I’ve lived in The Netherlands and have family there. The drinking (beer, wine) is 16. You must be 18 to buy spirits. If an adult gives you a drink, you may legally drink it, even if you are 12. My experience is that the young people there do not have the interest in binge drinking that American kids do. It’s just a normal part of life.

  • Dan VB

    “It is logical to think that if there are fewer drinking problems off campus now, there will still be fewer, even if the drinking age were lowered to 18.”

    Less than there will be on campus, but more than there are off campus now. Your line of reasoning is eerily similar to John Kerry declaring that slowing the rate of growth of the government is a cut. It’s still growth!

    There will still be fewer off campus than there will be on campus. But there will still be more! I should point out that I have implicitly assumed that the comparison was between incidents on college campuses involving students of any age and off campus incidents involving 18-20 year olds. I think that assumption should be explicitly stated.

    “There is another inherent flaw in your thinking, which is that if we treat 18 year olds like adults, and expect them to behave like adults that they will rise up en masse and slap us in the face and return to their adolescent ways. This is untrue.”

    My argument is based on experience. I am a high school teacher and I am more than familiar with the stupid things 18 year olds often do.

    “Treat a young man as an adult, and he will more than likely grow to become one. Treat a young man as a boy, and he will more than likely revert to it.”

    This is ad obama argument (using a pleasant nicety as the basis of your argument without anything to back it up). Do you have data to back up this claim? A study of some sorts? Like I said, my assumptions about what 18 year olds do is based on experience. While it *may* be prudent to treat 18, 19, and 20 year olds as adults some or even most of the time, it is *not* prudent to do it all of the time. At some point, you only deserve to be treated like an adult because you have earned it. I have yet to meet an 18 year old who has earned that.

    The argument is NOT “Permit x because people do x anyway.” The argument IS “If there is nothing morally reprehensible with x, then why should we treat x as taboo by placing an arbitrary age minimum on it?”

    Taboo? What is this prohibition? Drinking in American culture is *anything* but taboo. Morally reprehensible is also an awfully high standard. Is speeding *morally* *reprehensible*? Also, the 21 year age limit is not arbitrary. The drinking age used to be 18 and it was raised to 21 after much deliberation and debate. That hardly qualifies as arbitrary.

    “Especially when 18 year olds are expected and capable of acting responsibly in regards to voting, military service, the penal system, etc. The drinking age law of 21 is incongruent with all other privileges that are given at the age of 18 signaling a passage into adulthood.”

    Your assumption that the drinking age, suffrage, and military service are signals of a passage into adulthood is mistaken. They are signals of the responsibilities of citizenship. Your apparent assumption that these privileges *should* be foisted onto our young citizens all at the same time is also mistaken. There is no reason to assume that they *must* be given at the same age. The driving age is 16; not 18 or 21. Is that incongruent? They can’t run for president until they are 35. Is that incongruent? “I can drink. I can vote. I can serve in the military. But I can’t run for President!” It’s not fair! I’m going home to tell my mommy.

    “If you disagree, then defend your point. What rights are infringed upon by someone who is 18 vs. 21 and drinks too much?”

    Then why not lower it to 6?

    If your answer is similar to your entire focus of your above alleged 4 problems, then your answer will most likely revolve around drunk driving, but that is illegal in either case.”

    And it will be much, *much* more prevalent if the drinking age is lowered. Keep in mind, while there are some who drink underage anyway, there are many who can exercise self control. Even, dare I say, many college students (GASP!). Lower the drinking age and not only will those who were drinking under age anyway keep drinking, but then most of the 18, 19, and 20 year olds will too. While it would then be legal for them to do so, the number of drunk drivers on the road will certainly increase.

    “So again, what rights stand to be infringed upon more so if the drinking age is 18 vs. 21 that aren’t already covered by other laws?”

    The people they hit, I think it’s safe to say their rights have been infringed upon. Why do something that we know will increase crime? Doesn’t the government have a moral responsibility to reduce crime? The government does not have a responsibility to make sure college students can PAR-TAY! Sorry.

    “As far as “college students aren’t going to all of a sudden start drinking responsibly because the novelty of underage drinking is no longer present”, no they will most likely not become overnight the responsible adults they are capable of becoming.”

    So let them be drunk and irresponsible? I’m sorry. I can’t take you seriously anymore. But I’ll finish my response anyway. I’ve invested too much into it.

    “What can be said is that if there is no pressure to act responsibly, then many young adults will not push themselves to do so until they do feel pressure.”

    HA HA HA HA HA HA! Who, may I ask, is going to be at these frat parties pressuring the college students to act responsibly?

    “18 year olds are quite capable of making informed and reasonable decisions, what is currently lacking is the expectation that they do so in every area, as well as appropriate consequences when things fail.”

    “Again, drunk driving is illegal at ANY age, not whether you are 18 vs. 21. I would suspect that those that choose to drink and drive will continue to do so until they feel the benefits no longer outweigh the consequences. If it is drunk driving you are most concerned with, then please be exactly that: most concerned with drunk driving; not an arbitrary age limit on something that is neither immoral, nor unethical, when handled responsibly.”

    Again, then why not lower it to 6?

    You have failed to make a sound case (or even a plausibly good valid case) as to why the drinking age remaining at 21 is immoral or unethical. Since you are taking the position that the drinking age should be lowered, the burden is on you, not me. Saying it would not be immoral or unethical to have the drinking remain at 18 might work if the tables were turned. But it doesn’t work here. The current drinking age is 21. You have not made a decent argument as to why it should be changed.

  • Dan VB

    I don’t think the problem with underage drinking in America has anything to do with the “mystique”. I think it has to do with the way irresponsible drinking is glorified in music, tv, and film. Lowering the drinking age isn’t going to change that.

    The long and short of it is this: the drinking age is currently 21. If the drinking age is to be lowered to 18 those in favor of the change must present a convincing argument as to why. I don’t think I will.

  • Devasahayam

    On the nail with point #3–as evidenced from neighbouring Canada where drinking-age-minimum, depending on province, is either 18 or 19; Canadian Universities also have problems with binge-drinking.

    Plus, binge-drinking didn’t spring ex-nihilo in 1984 (when the minimum age was set at 21) but was pre-existing.

  • Ryan K

    I think a convincing argument can be made for lowering the drinking age based on justice. Namely, if we expect certain responsibilities of our young s, we should pair it with an equal level of freedom; rights and responsibilities should be in just parity with each other. If we have agreed that 18 is the age of maturity in our country, then we should confer on the individual all rights and freedom that come with the responsibility of hood. To do otherwise is unjust.

    One example of this is a best put by paraphrasing a bartender in my home town: “I’ll serve any veteran, any age. Don’t tell me I can’t give a beer to a man (or woman) who defends my country.” We ask responsibilities of young s, and should act with justice as regards their freedoms, or risk devaluing the rule of law.

    So far, my line of argument only addresses the theoretical justice of the matter. The second part of any change in law is to address the practical outcomes. After all, the right to drink is not, strictly speaking, a ‘natural right’ given by our very nature. We as a people can and must consider the practical outcomes and weight it against the common good when conferring and defending non-essential rights.

    I think this is where a lot of opinions come in. We need to answer the question: which is worse? The offense against justice of not matching rights and responsibilities, or the possible evil caused by conferring rights that will be abused? This is certainly a question of prudence.

    I think the first question we have to answer is, “will lowering the drinking age cause more evil?” with increased drunkenness, date , drunk driving, etc. I agree with Dan VB that lowering it in a vacuum will certainly do this. While some will respond positively, it is my opinion that most will not. If we lower the drinking age, it must be done in concert with other efforts, or we are giving responsibility to an age group that, for the most part, is not ready to be responsible. If, as Lord Action put it, they do not see Liberty as the “right to do as your ought”, but rather as the “freedom to do as you wish”, then the law must make this distinction and enourage them to do good.

    Three possible ways of solving this:
    1. I like is the idea of a drinking age of 21 unless you prove your responsibility. This attempts to reconcile the rights/responsibilities disparity, while allowing for practical considerations. What does everyone think of allowing anyone who serves in the military to drink at 18, while having everyone else drink at 21? There may be other categories for exemption, but this is the only one that springs to mind for me. Any thoughts on this sort of hybridized system? I like this system ok, but it has its weaknesses.

    2. Enforce the laws on the books. I like near a midsized, midwestern college, and most bars and stores will sell to minors. They make a showing of following the law, but it is only that. down on underage drinkers, and that would go a long way. This should be a no-brainer, but a lot of colleges have a very libertine perspective on drinking, and turn a blind eye to it. (Which is amazing to me, considering how many state and federal dollars they get.)

    3. License the purchase of alcohol, the same way we license driving a car. Sell/provide to a minor? No booze for 1 year. Sell again? Fine/Jail time. (The punishments are just examples, but you get the idea.) I like this idea best of all, because it has addresses several problems at once, including providing to minors and abusing the priviledge of buying/ordering alcohol.

    It also would allow us to lower the drinking age (and/or use the prove your responsibility system in point 1), doing justice to the rights/responsibilities disparity, and addresses the possible repercussions of irresponsible drinking across the board. Brought up in a family that respects alcohol? Belly up to the bar. Believe alcohol is synonymous with drunkenness, vomiting, and passing out? One strike and you wait until 21.
    This system would not only change the culture of alcohol in the 18-21 age group, but across the board.

    Just some ideas – let me know what you think of them.

  • R.A. Cod

    Long term medical and clinical research shows that if you can encourage young people to postpone drinking until they are 21 years of age, the risk and incidences of Alcoholism are tremendously decreased. Also the inherent brain damage(i.e. Alcohol destroys brain cells.) is lessened. Viva sober learning and decision making…

  • brad gillespie

    How about de-criminalizing something that is obviously not going to go away? Stop the overly punitive reactions of an overprotective state for doing something that simply isn’t going to go away, no matter how heavily you punish the ‘violating’ drinkers. Kids love to drink (even though they should surely be called adults to some degree once they are l8) — you aren’t going to legislate this out of existence. One of the really ugly things about the 21 yr drinking age is that parents have effectively lost any control over establishing some kind of responsible attitude towards their kids drinking while they are still at home — since doing so essentially supports violating the law. How absurd is that? The state and all the nannies pushing the strict 21 age limit may want to just outlaw alchoholic consumption totally, since there can’t be any provable relationship between binge drinking and varying age limits. I mean what might happen if the age were raised to 22? or 25? Certainly some people would stop drinking — and this would elminate at least that portion of the population from killing themselves and others with the ugly possibilities. College kids may hide when they drink, but they still do it, probably more intensely than ever — since now it is forbidden fruit. Why not take away the forbidden? Perhaps the intoxication of being intoxicated would be less inviting….

  • Dan
  • Dan

    “How about de-criminalizing something that is obviously not going to go away?”

    Great idea. Maybe we should try that with murder. Murder obviously isn’t going away. While we’re at it, we should de-criminalize the drunk driving that goes along with the underage drinking. I mean, really, drinking is legal for most of the population. Driving is legal for most of the population. Yet you put the two together and get a crime. What’s up with that?

    “there can’t be any provable relationship between binge drinking and varying age limits.”

    Really? I didn’t realize that binge drinking was such a problem among retirees.

    “I mean what might happen if the age were raised to 22? or 25?”

    What if it were raised to 30? It is much easier for an 18, 19, or 20 year old to get a fake ID and pass for 21 than it would be for them to pass for 30. Maybe we should RAISE the drinking age even further.

    I said before that I still haven’t heard a convincing argument for lowering the drinking age. Since it is currently set at 21, the burden is on those who seek to change it. The argument that “it’s not going away” is not only unpersuasive, it’s a *terrible* argument to make. You could apply that logic to virtually all crimes and end up with anarchy (not liberty) on your hands. The argument that “18 year olds can vote and die for their country but they can’t drink a beer” is also unpersuasive. We can’t run for president until we’re 35. Why isn’t anyone seeking to get that changed? Oh, yeah, because teenagers and underage college students don’t really want to binge run-for-president.

    Is there anyone out there who will offer a good, sound, *persuasive* argument as to why the drinking age should be lowered? Anyone?

  • http://blog.acton.org/ Jordan

    Dan, I think you are missing the point about Aquinas’ prudential principle. He points out that something should be made legal only if making it illegal produces greater evil. This puts the discussion somewhere in the realm of empirical evidence and doesn’t predetermine the outcome or make that judgment permanent or unalterable.

    Thus, murder isn’t a good analogue to drinking. Smoking, gambling, or the use of other drugs like marijuana (or perhaps even prostitution) might be better comparisons.

    Maybe the driving age, for example, is too low given the relative proclivity of teen drivers (esp. 16-18 years old) to get involved in the worst accidents.

  • http://blog.acton.org/ Jordan

    Anecdotal evidence may be rhetorically compelling, but it doesn’t solve the question regarding the prudence of current forms of positive law.

    John Stossel has [url=http://townhall.com/columnists/JohnStossel/2008/09/03/the_drinking_age_myth]more on this[/url], and even quotes this blog post.

    Consider that as a starting point for a “good, sound, persuasive argument as to why the drinking age should be lowered?”

    And that question presumes that the burden of proof is on those who want to change laws. I’m not so sure that’s the right burden. We should perhaps lean more toward a principle of “liberty until proven guilty,” and always be ready to examine and modify or delete existing laws that cease to be relevant or effective.

  • DanVB

    “Anecdotal evidence may be rhetorically compelling, but it doesn’t solve the question regarding the prudence of current forms of positive law.”

    Granted, this is only one recent example. But how many examples does it take to go from anecdotal evidence to evidence of the way teenagers actually think about alcohol?

    “I agree. We grow into adulthood, but laws like the 21-year-old drinking age presume that individuals change from child to adult at the stroke of midnight on their 21st birthdays. That’s nonsense.”

    That’s terrific, but Stossel makes my point for me. It seems to be that lowering the drinking age to 18 is completely inline with the assumption that individuals change from child to adult at the stroke of midnight on a birthday. In this case it would be the 18th, not the 21st. They magically become responsible enough to drink, vote, sign contracts, etc. A claim Stossel himself dismisses as nonsense.

    Keeping the drinking age at 21 seems to fit the assumption that we grow into adulthood. An assumption, it seems, that Stossel would accept.

    “We should perhaps lean more toward a principle of “liberty until proven guilty,” and always be ready to examine and modify or delete existing laws that cease to be relevant or effective.”

    Don’t we do that already? It’s not like there was *always* a drinking age. We are having a discussion about modifying or deleting an existing law that some claim has ceased to be relevant or effective. My point is that the law has not ceased to be relevant or effective. I know how teenagers feel about alcohol. Lowering the drinking age is *not* going to make them drink less. If anything, it will encourage them drink more.

  • DanVB

    No, I get it. I just don’t buy that having the drinking age at 21 produces greater evil than lowering it to 18 would produce.

    “This puts the discussion somewhere in the realm of empirical evidence and doesn’t predetermine the outcome or make that judgment permanent or unalterable.”

    Again, I am around teenagers for 7 hours/day. I know how they think about alcohol. Lowering the drinking age *will* *not* solve any problems. It will only *make* *them* *worse* . It will not increase liberty. If anything, it will reduce it. More teenagers losing their licenses and ending up behind bars.

    Maybe I should put it this way. I’m not real concerned about the liberties of the morons who break the law by drinking underage as it is. Nor will I concern myself with the liberties of those who abuse alcohol once they are legal. I’m concerning myself with the liberties of those people whose lives these idiots will affect with their irresponsible behavior. Everyone seems to be concerned about the liberties of those whom this change will affect directly. No one seems to care about the liberties of those whom this change will affect indirectly.

  • http://blog.acton.org/ Jordan

    I think Stossel’s main point is that drawing an age line is arbitrary, and it would simply be more consistent to put the “drinking” line at the same level as the “eligible for military service line” and other similar lines. An argument for internal coherency is not the same as an argument for objective legitimacy. Those, indeed, are separate questions that perhaps have been conflated in these accounts.

    As I said before, all I think this means is that the question should be open for discussion and debate. I hear you assert again and again that you know that lowering the drinking age would have no effect. Fine and good.

    But if all you can turn up are anecdotal examples of abuse of alcohol by “underage” offenders, forgive me if I don’t think the question is settled. The folks involved with the Amethyst Initiative obviously have their own personal and professional experience from which to draw, and they seem to disagree with your assertions. They consider the cultural assumptions about alcohol, which are influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the positive law, to be important causes of the problems they are facing. Why simply dismiss criticism of the law out of hand?

  • DanVB

    “I think Stossel’s main point is that drawing an age line is arbitrary, and it would simply be more consistent to put the “drinking” line at the same level as the “eligible for military service line” and other similar lines.”

    No, that is exactly the line of reasoning that Stossel dismisses as nonsense. This change does not happen overnight. To make all of these lines at the same age fits the assumption that this change does in fact happen overnight, no matter what age they are drawn at. Again, Stossel dismisses that assertion as nonsense. While he may mean to attack the 21 law, the assertion is no less meaningful when applied to a theoretical 18 law. It doesn’t happen overnight when they turn 21, it won’t happen overnight when they turn 18. But moving the drinking age to 18 is incongruous with the assumption that this is a growth process. If it is in fact a growth process, rights and responsibilities should be given in sequence, not all at once.

    “They consider the cultural assumptions about alcohol, which are influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the positive law, to be important causes of the problems they are facing.”

    How will changing the drinking age change this, really?

    Lowering the drinking age to 18 will do the following:

    1) make alcohol even more accessible to young children. Not just 16 and 17 year olds, but middle schoolers and younger. These children aren’t old enough to comprehend the effects of drinking alcohol. It kills brain cells. The very cells they may need later on to learn how to drink responsibly.

    2) result in a marked increase in drunk driving incidents and deaths. Add more drinkers to the equation and you’re *going* to get more drunk drivers.

    3) Cost society billions of dollars later on dealing with the increased number of medical issues arising from alcohol abuse by people who started drinking way too soon and became alcoholics.

    4) Lead to a much less productive society, and, in my opinion, a less free society. College students spending more time drinking and less time studying will translate into less learning, less creativity, and less innovation. Not to mention that these students, should they ever get stopped for a DUI or DWI will have to put that on job applications when they are older, making it harder for them to find jobs.

    Alcohol abuse among underage drinkers has very little to do with the mystique of drinking. Again, drinking is anything but taboo in American culture. It’s all over the place. There is no mystique.

    The problem exists in large because parents aren’t being held accountable to their children. They stop caring if they stay out all night, they don’t punish them severely enough when they are caught drinking, some of them even provide the alcohol themselves. Lowering the drinking age isn’t going to make parents into better parents.

    “Why simply dismiss criticism of the law out of hand?”

    I’m not dismissing the criticism out of hand. I just wasn’t convinced by it the first 63 times I heard it. Times 64 and 65 aren’t likely to lead to a different result.

    If someone would look at this from a perspective that takes into account all of the different side-effects that this change would lead to, I would listen.

    Teenagers don’t drink underage because it’s mysterious. That may be why they do it at first, but after that it’s not really a mystery. They continue to drink because the parties they drink at are fun (in their opinions). The promiscuous sex they engage in after drinking is fun (in their opinions). Lowering the drinking age won’t fix this, it will only make it worse.

    It seems to me that any 18-20 year old who is responsible enough to drink responsibly is also responsible enough to wait until it’s legal for them to do so. Lowering the drinking age to 18 seems like a way to cave in to the irresponsible ones. Is that how we should approach the rule of law?