Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another thing I agree with the Democrats on

At the Democrat's convention in Miles City (both Republicans and Democrats seem intent on going to "enemy territory") there was proposed a non-binding resolution to lower the drinking age to 18. I know that it sounds crazy, but if you think about it, it really does make sense. MTPR had a segment on their broadcast that included sound bites from MADD that was appalled that the Democrats would do such a thing. They predicted carnage on the highways with a lower drinking age. After all, they have totally eliminated underage drinking and driving by making it illegal.
Except that it hasn't worked.
Right now, kids are buying booze illegally, and because they can't sit in a bar and drink responsibly, they are chugging it as fast as possible and then throwing the empties out of the car. I know that all of this is illegal, but lawmakers need to realize that creating a new criminal class is not the answer to all problems.
I would go even farther than their proposal: Do it like in Europe where you can drink at 16, but can't get a license until you are 18. Combine this with the general abhorrence of public drunkeness, (except for the major fests) and you have people who learn to drink responsibly, instead of the binge drinking that they do now.
Maybe another proposal, assuming you can get the feds off of our backs, would be to only allow you to drink at 18 when you have a High School diploma in hand. You might just encourage a higher graduation rate.
But the fear of anyone having fun is always going to create laws that prevent that. Even if they don't work or make sense.


goof houlihan said...

I always liked nineteen. It separated most of the high schools students from the ability to drink, yet recognized that men and women that age are old enough to die for their country should be able to live as adults.

MADD is a fanatical organization whose lost sight of the main objective, to eliminated drunk driving, and has moved to become a group of Carrie Nations intent on prohibition.

Steve said...

I agree. They won't stop until there is no legal limit. Even though NHTSA studies show that you are actually safer at .02 than 0.00.

Jim Lang said...

It certainly does not seem to make sense that we consider an eighteen year old responsible enough to make the decision to enlist in military service but not responsible enough to take a drink.

Here's an alternate proposal: instead of lowering the drinking age to 18, we could raise the minimum age for enlisting to 21.

Anonymous said...

Just as people are counseled before getting abortions on the possible negative consequences, so too should they be before enlisting in the military. They used to be more open about things in the 1950's - boot camp was called "indoctrination".

Steve said...

Mark, I could get mad, but instead I just feel sorry for you. I realize that the sum total of your experience with the military is limited to Oliver Stone movies, but soldiers are not what you want to believe they are.