College Presidents Move to Reduce Drinking Age to 18 – Too Good to be True?

This week, 100+ college and university presidents from across the country signed to the Amethyst Initiative, a petition to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. In a statement on the project website the alliance of university higher-ups suggest:

“A culture of dangerous, clandestine “binge-drinking”—often conducted off-campus—has developed. Alcohol education that mandates abstinence as the only legal option has not resulted in significant constructive behavioral change among our students.”

Strong critics to the plan, particularly Mothers Against Drunk Driving, suggests a lowered drinking age would result in increased fatal car crashes.

Both sides can agree that collegiate alcohol abuse is a serious problem and the current system isn’t working.

One factor that neither side seems to be addressing is that by lowering the drinking age to 18, you make it legal for a majority of high school seniors to buy the hooch.

Yes, most resourceful high school students can get their hands on some rail booze, usually courtesy of older siblings at an inflated price. But consider the floodgates that would open up if you could get your hands on legal alcohol as a high school student.

I don’t know about you, but the last fuel my pathetic high school drama needed was alcohol. We had more tears, yelling and he said/she said than “The Hills,” and that was before we started drinking watered down screwdrivers in my parents’ basement.

And if seniors can buy booze, the sibling liquor store opens up to an entire new generation of young people. Before you know it 14-year-olds will be drunk as hell at the “Welcome to Highschool” breakfast, Miley Cyrus concerts, or whatever young people do these days.

So what do I propose? Let’s lower the drinking age, but let��s take a cue from Canada and make the drinking age 19. Sure, there are still a few 19-year-olds in high school, but the burn-outs, athletes and kids who were held back are few and far between (and probably over 21 anyway).

What are your thoughts folks? Is 21 a right of passage, an arbitrary number or the only thing saving us from premature destructive decisions?

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