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American drinking age,

  1. Dec 17, 2007 #1
    Here are two points of interest .

    1) The american drinking age is 21 but yet at 18 one can do pretty much everything (and have pretty much everything done to them) imaginable. Although we know that this silly drinking law came into existence in the 80s because of the usual dirty and petty politics, media, politiicans, cops(especially) still act as if under-age drinking is the ultimate evil. Do you think it's time to repeal it? I do.

    2) On TV (or anywhere else) extreme violence like arm-breaking, faces oozing with blood, gunshots to the head or eye, heads being chopped off, kids (by kids I mean 5 year olds) fighting in boxing or karate matches, etc is accepted. Just yesterday on TV I saw a real-life robber get shot by police officers with pistols and rifles at close-range and I saw his slumped over body. I found the scene nerving. Yet, if a nip*le -shot (like Janet Jackson's) appears on TV then hell is raised. I strongly disagree that violence should be accommodated while nud*ty (or s*x) should be treated as the ultimate evil. I see no rational thought behind the way things currently are. I wish it was the other way around.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2007 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Just cry "won't someone think of the children" until the rational thoughts go away!
     
  4. Dec 17, 2007 #3
    Wow, it seems like the words n*pple, nud*ty, and s*x are banned. Scientific thinking at its greatest lol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  5. Dec 17, 2007 #4
    You can thank conservatives. Praise the lord.

    Sex and drinking used to be all around in the 20s. What the hell happened?
     
  6. Dec 17, 2007 #5

    JasonRox

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    Sex and drinking brings pleasure. Violence for the most part does not.

    I don't get it.
     
  7. Dec 17, 2007 #6

    Astronuc

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    Well, I've been drinking milk since the day I was born. Of course, after 6 months, I had to change over to cows milk. Drinking water too. I don't see anything wrong with that.

    I've been drinking tea since I was 2 and coffee since I was about 11-12. Still see nothing wrong with that.
     
  8. Dec 17, 2007 #7

    Moonbear

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    As someone who wasn't old enough to drink yet, but old enough to be aware of what others that age were doing when the legal drinking age was changed, I actually think it's good to keep it at 21. Actually, I guess any age higher than 18 would be okay. Mostly, it's because it gives people a little time to adjust to the freedoms and responsibilities of being a legal adult before adding something to the mix that is known for inspiring bad judgement. And, in recognizing that it's never possible to eliminate underaged drinking, as well as realizing that most alcohol provided to minors is acquired through friends of theirs who are of age, when you make the legal drinking age 21, most of the underage access to alcohol is still primarily only getting to those who are over 18 and close in age to the 21 year olds. I think this is better than having alcohol use rampant among immature high school students. There's still a problem there, but not like it was when I was near that age.

    Did I make any sense at all? :uhh:
     
  9. Dec 17, 2007 #8

    JasonRox

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    No, it doesn't make sense because you're making a decision for other adults that should be old enough to make their own decision.

    If it came down to a vote and all the 18-21 years old and older folks who think it should be lowered went out and voted for a lower drinking age, they would win. They have the right to do that.

    Honestly, I don't think it makes sense to make a decision for other adults in that sense.

    I guess we can give our "wise" decision but that's really it.
     
  10. Dec 17, 2007 #9
    The problem is it doesn't stop under age idiots from drinking. It is incredible easy to make a fake ID or get an older friend to buy you a 24 pack. It only stops law abiding adults, like myself, from enjoying an ice cold beer after a long day's work. Luckily, I only have 10 more days until I'm 21. :biggrin:
     
  11. Dec 17, 2007 #10
    You can drive a car and fly an airplane at age 16, vote at 18, join the army at 18; but you can drink, gamble and own a gun at 21........something does not add up here.

    So I can shoot and die using a gun for uncle sam, but I cant own my own. :confused:

    Either your an adult, or your not. Adult should be 18 years old, or 21 years old. Not variations inbetween.
     
  12. Dec 17, 2007 #11

    jtbell

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    As I recall, the drinking age was raised to 18 mainly because of something about teenagers drinking and driving. Maybe if we raised the driving age to 21, there might be more political support for lowering the drinking age to 18. I'm not saying I support this approach, mind you, but as a practical/political reality I think it's the only way it could happen right now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  13. Dec 17, 2007 #12

    turbo

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    I was in that brief era when I was 18 and the drinking age was 18. It was a simple little concept that if you are old enough to vote, and if you are old enough to be drafted to be sent to French Indo-China and be shipped over to be killed to defend France's right to keep the natives under subjugation, you are old enough to have a beer. Lots of young US people died (and FAR more nationals of all ages!) to defend French colonialism. Of course, it was sold as a war to prevent the "domino effect" by which communism could spread. What a crock!!
     
  14. Dec 18, 2007 #13
    Here is some information on the history of the drinking age and the reasons why they changed it.

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/13246.html [Broken]

    I guess it is helpfull in preventing accidents and fatalities among teens. I personally dont care one way or the other. This is mainly due to my experiences that the drinking age being 21 hardly had an effect me, personally. When I was under 21, it wasnt to difficult to get alcohol. This will never change for highschool kids. Are parents did it and our kids will do it.

    Though I would be curious on how people in countries where kids are exposed to drinking more openly and responsibly at earlier ages fare. I grew up watching my father drink responsibly. I say this becuase the people I see go over board in college with drinking tended to have more sheltered home lives in highschool, where such topics werent even talked about. So, they dont know how to enjoy responsibly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  15. Dec 18, 2007 #14
    I disagree Gilligan. I've seen in college, "like father, like son". Lots of kids drink because their parents are alcoholics.

    The drinking age does not need to be 21, parents need to be parents so their kids dont do these stupid things. I never drink more than 2 beers if im driving, and I space it so some time has past before I drive since my last drink.
     
  16. Dec 18, 2007 #15
    Well said Cyrus, I can't agree with you more.
     
  17. Dec 18, 2007 #16
    Actually, the gambling age is 18, except maybe in Nevada or just Las Vegas. Most casinos have a 21 year old limit, but I think I've heard that that's so they can give out free drinks to everyone without carding.

    Still, it does seem rather stupid to me. Is an 18 year old to be considered old enough and mature enough to make decisions or not?
     
  18. Dec 18, 2007 #17

    BobG

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    1) Raising the drinking age had to do with the number of alcohol related traffic accidents. They could raise it to 25 as far as I'm concerned - or at least past the age where drinking games are popular. I've never understood why getting totally smashed at a party was seen as a goal. Don't these people have lives?

    Probably a better way to handle the problem would be to seriously raise the penalties for drinking and driving, but you'd run into the same problem. People caught would ask, "Is it fair to ruin a teenager's entire future because of one youthful mistake?" If the population doesn't have the resolve to answer "YES" to that question, then the only solution is to raise the drinking age for everyone and hope that reduces the problem.

    Allowing 18-year-olds to join the military is done for pragmatic reasons and fairness has nothing to do with it. You'd prefer to send them off to war before they've had time to get married and have kids. If a single person dies in a war, it doesn't leave dependents behind trying to figure out how to live on a reduced income. The voting age was the only one of the three that has any fairness to it. If you could die in a war, you ought to have some say about whether we fight it in the first place.

    2) I agree. People ought to be more concerned about showing extreme violence on TV or in movies than how much of a person's body is shown. In fact, I'm more bothered by having an obnoxious amount of profanity in a movie than by nudity - neither really qualifies as morally damaging to a viewer, but listening to the first gets old pretty quick.
     
  19. Dec 18, 2007 #18

    Integral

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    BobG has pretty much nailed it. The difficulties of learning to drive, simultaneous with learning to drink is a fatal combination. If the foolish kids only killed themselves it wouldn't be such a big deal, but they tended to be pretty random in who they killed.


    As for sex vs violence. I remember back in the late '70s the now ex and I were going to the University to see the soft porn flick Emmanuel, when we got to the theater we found that someone had decided that the movie was inappropriate, in its place they chose to run Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. :confused:
     
  20. Dec 18, 2007 #19
    What is apparent is that the people who continue to make the legal decisions regarding the drinking age have all passed through their teen years.

    Apparently, once they get older, the majority of these decision makers realize that yes, perhaps an older drinking age is justified. Especially in light of the need to drive in most parts of the US.

    I think that accidents caused by drunk driving are a strong influence on how people view the the legal drinking age.
     
  21. Dec 18, 2007 #20
    The one thing that stands out in my mind..
    I was doing my internship with the county medical examiner back when the drinking laws were 18. We would get a call, and then someone would shout out "Here comes another party".
    It seems many young people drink in groups, and because not every one owned a car at 18, they drove with as many people as they could fit into there cars, vans and trucks.
    It was not uncommon on a saturday night to receive in up to 8 bodies from one accident. It happened several times a month. Now it only happens several times a year.

    And yes, I would agree, if we were a country that raised our children with the understanding of responsible drinking, that 18 would not be such a problem. But we are not such a country.
     
  22. Dec 18, 2007 #21
    The drinking age could actually be lowered to an age like 15 (similar to Europe), but the lack of public transportation in such a large country as the United States makes it a dead issue. The driving age should actually be lowered across the board to 16. Raising the driving age to 17 or 18 makes it that much close to the learning curve of drinking. The issue is drinking and driving.
     
  23. Dec 18, 2007 #22

    mgb_phys

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    The UK is even more confused we seem to have caught puritanism.

    The drinking age is 18 in bars or 16 in restaurants. There are continual demands from police chiefs to raise it to 21 - this will solve the underage drinking problems as it has done in the USA.
    About a year ago they removed some 100year old limits on the opening hours of bars, allowing them to remain open 24hr/day. This was supposed to produce a relaxed french-style cafe culture of people having an occasional glass of wine - it didn't work!

    The age for smoking is currently being raised from 16 to 18.
    Looks like the drinks companies contribute more than the cig companies.

    On the other hand, you can drive and join the army at 17.
    You can have sex and get married at 16 but only watch it in a movie at 18.
    In theory if you took a photo of your wife breastfeeding your second baby you could be arrested for child abuse - of the mother!
     
  24. Dec 18, 2007 #23

    BobG

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    Long term, the more heavily a person drinks when they're young, the more likely they are to suffer from aclohol related health issues. In other words, even though they might not binge drink their whole life, they'll generally drink more than a person that rarely drank while young. Europeans exposed to alcohol earlier have about the same rates of long term problems as Americans. (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/13246.html [Broken]


    Europeans can drink at a younger age, but most can't drive until they're 18. Even if they can legally drive, they're less likely to have access to a car at a young age. They're also less likely to drink and drive. There's better public transportation so there's an alternative to driving when you go out and the penalties are significantly higher than in the US.
    European Laws Place Emphasis On the Driving, Not the Drinking

    Penalties for DUIs: By state in the US
    Penalties for DUIs: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/inj...ountries/dwiothercountries.html#_Toc449518805

    In the US, a first offense will virtually never result in jail time. It will get you a small fine and a short suspension of your license. Legal limit for BAC ranges from .08 to .10, except for those under 21 in some states (they can't drink legally, period, and the legal limit tends to be around .02 in most states). Any real punishment comes in the form of exhorbitant insurance rates.

    In Europe, the legal limit is usually .05 BAC. They have a lower limit than the US, but violations between .05 and .08 usually result in fines and suspensions of licenses, same as in the US. For BAC above .08, the penalties tend to get stiffer, with some countries giving jail time for first offenses and much higher fines than in the US (You can be fined over $10,000 in Belgium for a first offense :surprised).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  25. Dec 18, 2007 #24

    jim mcnamara

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    No. You need a history refresher - I'll pas on the sex thing since that before the Kinsey Report.

    The "most drunk" decade of the 1900's was the 1901-1910 time. In 1919 the 18th amendment to Constitution made alcohol illegal. The 21st amendment in 1933 repealed the 18th amendment.

    The damage was already done. Example: My wife's grandfather founded the United Fruit Company in 1920. He brought in daily boatloads of rum and covered the contraband with bananas. By 1933 he was the most powerful organized crime boss in New Orleans. When he died in 1952, the company was sold off and actually began importing fruit as a primary business instead of being a mafia front. United Fruit was already notorious for messing around with politics in Central America. The mafia is still active, but has competition from the newest mafia-clone the drug cartels.

    This bootlegging story repeated itself country-wide with innovations, home distilling, etc.
     
  26. Dec 18, 2007 #25
    IMO, if you get caught with the slightest bit of alcohol in your system you should loose your license for the rest of your life, or at least several years. None of this 6 month suspension BS.
     
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