Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Amethyst Initiative

It's called the Amethyst Initiative and more than 100 college presidents have signed on in an effort to bring this concern to the table of conversation.

All across the news headlines are flashing that college's are wanting to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18 in an effort to curb binge drinking, but will this change work? The backers of the change are claiming that the age of 18 grants people the rights to vote and to join the military claiming they are an "adult" now, but yet they are not old enough to have a beer. In opposition to the argument
"Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says lowering the drinking age would lead to more fatal car crashes."

Personally, I'm not sure if 3 years makes that much of an impact. I can remember when I turned 18 - I drank like a fish. Was this illegal, yes. Did I understand I was breaking the law, yes. Did it stop me, no. Truth is, I thought I was grown and I wanted to drink - it was a social thing for me and I was always comfortable with a drink in my hand. There were nights when I would drink responsibly and nights I cannot remember. I made some bad choices, but fortunately for me, I survived to tell the tale. Not everyone is so lucky.

By the time I was 21, drinking was not such a big thing...I'd been doing it for years and while there were still moments of alcohol impaired judgement, they were fewer and definitely more far between. I'm not advocating drinking under age, but much like anything else in society - I believe knowledge about something can help make it manageable. I'd have to agree with the university presidents in the fact that drinking under age is so taboo that it draws the kids in. How many times do you remember being told "Not to do something" and you did it anyway?

The main concern behind this initiative is not a request to have the drinking age lowered (at least not at this point) but to bring this topic of conversation to the table for an open and honest debate.
A recent Associated Press analysis found that 157 college-age people, 18 to 23, drank themselves to death from 1999 through 2005.

While I don't think this possibility will stop binge drinking, I do believe that it might find a way to lower the numbers of binge drinking deaths.

What do you think about possibly lowering the drinking age?


Confessions of A Mississippi Mom said...

I totally see both side of this issue. It hard to say what is the right age. Each child/young adult are so different. Example my Nephew needs to wait until he is 35 with is lack of responsibility. Hard to really know what side to be on when a 18 year old can be sent to fight in a war.

Jen @ The Cubicle's Backporch said...

I agree with Mississippi mom, I can see both sides of the issue, and while I drank while I was underage, it was a lot harder to get it then. (Had to find someone old enough who was willing to get it for us)

I think the only thing that lowering the drinking age will do for colleges is make the first couple of beers legal... they're still gonna get drunk and rowdy.

A Buns Life said...

I'll use the old argument....You can fight for and DIE for our country but you can't have a freaking beer to unwind afterwards?