Did you know?

Over 1,000 lives of 18-24 year-olds are lost annually to alcohol off the highways, a figure that has been increasing since 1998.

Readers, what are you doing to make a difference?

5 Responses to “Did you know?”

  1. Edwin Bonilla Says:

    Proposal for a Lower Drinking Age:

    My proposal would begin with 17 year old girls and boys taking an alcohol education class. If a girl or boy passed the class, she or he would get a card to prove completion of this class. Upon age 18, those young women and young men be would be allowed to drink and purchase alcoholic beverages.

    If a person failed the class, she or he would be allowed to repeat the alcohol education class. If a student turned 18 in the duration of the course, she or he still wouldn’t be allowed to buy alcoholic beverages until the card is received. For good results, the minimum age to take an alcohol education class for my proposal would be 16.

    If a young woman or young man who is 18-19 wanted to buy beer, she or he would have to present the card which says that she or he completed the alcohol education class. The card would be photo ID but would not have the capability of storing digital information.

    At age 20, the card would no longer be required to buy alcoholic beverages because girls and boys who failed the class upon repeat or who refused to take the class would be allowed to drink alcohol. In addition, age restrictions regarding alcohol would no longer apply.

    It’s good that Choose Responsibility takes alcohol education seriously but the government would have difficult task in tracking every alcohol license holder’s mistakes. In my proposal, the government doesn’t track down a person on the base of their alcohol license or card. Laws about alcohol will always be enforced. My proposal, which is somewhat similar to Choose Responsibility’s proposal, would change the culture about alcohol to lower deaths caused by irresponsible drinking off the roads.

  2. Edwin Bonilla Says:

    How is this proposal?

  3. Ajax the Great Says:

    While your proposal is significantly better than CR’s original idea, it still has some of the same drawbacks. For example, it still treats 18-19 year olds as second-class citizens by requiring them to have the special card that does not apply to people over 20. It also implies that we don’t trust 18-19 year olds as well as those over 20. And while enforcement will be easier than for CR’s proposal, it still will present some difficulties compared with a straight drinking age of 18. Finally, as for alcohol education, it would probably make more sense to require all high school students to receive it prior to graduation, since the majority of them will eventually drink. Many schools require health class as a graduation requirement, and alcohol education could be integrated into that. But it has to be honest, accurate, and comprehensive for it to have any beneficial effects, and should begin a lot earlier than 18.

  4. Edwin Bonilla Says:

    Good input.

  5. Ajax the Great Says:

    Thanks. I just thought of another flaw about the drinking license idea, namely that it makes drinking into even more of a rite of passage than a straight drinking age of 18 would. In a culture like ours that fetishizes alcohol and also has very few real rites of passage (aside from driving), that may not be such a great idea.

    In contrast, one can observe that cultures that have the fewest problems with alcohol (such as southern Europe) do not fetishize alcohol by treating it as a major rite of passage. They treat it as a neutral substance that can be good or bad depending on how it’s used, and all drinkers are held to the same high standards of conduct regardless of age. Alcohol-related misbehavior is seen as a conscious choice, and (unlike in predominantly Anglo-Celtic cultures) alcohol is never accepted as an excuse for doing anything that would be considered unacceptable when sober. As a result, overindulgence and lager-lout behavior is decidedly “uncool” over there, rather than glamorized like it is over here. We can really learn a lot from these cultures.