Montana Democrats Support a Lower Drinking Age

On Saturday, the Montana Democratic Party passed a resolution in favor of lowering the drinking age to 18, thereby adding reconsidering the drinking age to their official platform.  Many of their arguments in favor of lowering the drinking age are remarkably similar to ours; read more about it here.

15 Responses to “Montana Democrats Support a Lower Drinking Age”

  1. Brian FORD Says:

    The fact that “Many of their [Montana Democrats] arguments in favor of lowering the drinking age are remarkably similar to ours” should set off alarms in your sense of logic. And that is just ANOTHER good reason not to pursue this misguided goal to allow more drug users in society. The age of 21 is not of itself, a sign of maturity, but it is certainly much better than 18! Maturity is expected, and required of people who make important decisions on their own. In the military you may find a few NCOs under the age of 21, but no commissioned officers. Your wise goal should be to encourage wise judgment in people and that would be to never use drugs to alter the mind’s/body’s ability to function at it’s peak at all times.

  2. John Says:

    I think it should be lowered for Service people

    only. They get the good training, are in better

    than average shape, and deserve it for serving

    their country.

  3. Steve Says:

    Sadly, we as a society cannot handle the lowered drinking age. We want it now and lots of it. We are greedy and self-serving. We are immature at best and cannot be compared to other countries as an example for responsible drinking.

    I have had the opportunity to police when the drinking age was 18 and it was a
    mess. More bars, more drunks on the streets. When the change to 21 came many bars closed and the drinking related problems eased substantially on the streets.

    It is a cop out for the college administration, taking the problem off the campus by lowering the drinking age. High Schools will begin to shoulder more of the problems and so will the surrounding towns with a lowered drinking age. I propose no change and stepped up enforcement at the college level. No passing the buck………

  4. angie Says:

    Recent debate regarding lowering the legal drinking age to 18 has been mostly full of reasoning that is illogical and not taking into account several medical, psychological and societal facts surrounding the issue.

    The frontal cortex of the brain is the part which causes us to take a second look at what our first impulse is and to soberly question whether it is a good idea. This part of the brain is still immature in the teenage years. If a body part is still immature, it is a good bet that it will not function at the tip top performance level that is expected of a mature adult. This means that quite simply, many kids sometimes truly cannot stop themselves from doing impulsive things. Why does it then seem logical to expect individuals of a group that is known to have difficulty in containing their impulses to make mature decisions about the amount of and behavior after the consumption of alcohol products? Because we will be expecting them to behave as though they are fully capable of understanding and obeying all the laws regarding this privilege, and will be held accountable to the law, right?

    Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24. Do you know what the first is??? Accidental death. This is a group of people that have a problem staying out of accidents….so let’s give them some Jack and Coke! Suicide is problem with teens because, referring to the previous paragraph, their brains are immature and the stress of life (you know, those cruel teachers in high school, the weekly he-said-she-said crises and the like) is often too much for them to bear. Many of these kids seek solace in alcohol as it is today, and do you know what happens? They wind up alcoholics or dead if something doesn’t happen to turn things around.

    31 percent of teen drivers killed in 2006 had been drinking, according to NHTSA. Look, it’s hard enough being on the road with sober teens. Here is a stat the proves 1) even though kids know they aren’t supposed to drink and drive, they do it anyway and 2) their inexperience driving coupled with their inexperience drinking leads to death.

    I can certainly understand that when a child is raised to view a certain thing in a certain way, the mystery is removed and the desire to binge is lessened. However, we in America do not drink wine with our dinners as part of our culture like the French. The vast majority of our kids see alcohol consumed by either an alcoholic in an excessive fashion or in a party “this is such a fun thing to do” fashion. When we grown up Americans stop treating alcohol like we might not ever get any again, then we can start teach our kids from way in the beginning how to act around it and then we can lower the drinking age.

    Simply letting kids drink because they want to and because they sneak around doing it anyway is not a logical reason to change the law. We don’t decide to take murder off the books because people do that all the time. If that were logical, marijuana would have been legalized a long time ago because you and I both know half of America smokes pot. They can keep right on sneaking around, because at least that in itself serves to lessen the amount that they are able to do it. When the 16 year olds complain enough, which they do about everything anyway, are we going to change the law again?

    The bottom line here people is that 18 year olds are still kids. They may be able to go off to Iraq but they are supervised, trained to do what they are doing and too scared too mess it up. Kids who would be allowed to drink will not be under supervision, will not be trained by an expert on how to properly consume alcohol and are completely fearless. There are certainly some kids who can handle more mature responsibilities, but you cannot change the law based on those few kids.

    Wake up people!

  5. DJ Says:

    If a person is mature enough to make the decision to join the military and potentially give their life for their country then they are mature enough to have a drink and call a cab. PERIOD. You either lower the drinking age to when you can legally join the military OR you raise the legal age you are ALLOWED to join the military to the same age you are allowed to drink. If a person can’t be trusted with their life (and those around them)enough to have a beer, then they should under NO CIRCUMSTANCES be given a gun and shipped off to war!

  6. Matthew Says:

    Also, if you can trust an 18 year old to vote in critical elections, for president and what not, it is simply illogical that you can’t trust them to drink. If your not going to allow an 18 year old to drink, raise the voting age to 21.

    On that note, most 21 year old I know have not matured since the time they were 18.

    Drinking should be based on individual maturity, do not clump all 18 year olds together.
    Even if it were illegal, I’m still going to teach my kids responcible drinking at age 15. And I’m talking about liquer as well.

  7. Marshall Guthrie Says:

    Brian,

    Was that a slight against Montana, Democrats, or both?

  8. Marshall Guthrie Says:

    Steve,

    You seem quick to point the finger at college administrators who are doing their best to police and educate. Do you feel the actual people serving the alcohol, bartenders and bar-owners, bear any responsibility?

  9. Marshall Guthrie Says:

    Angie,

    “I can certainly understand that when a child is raised to view a certain thing in a certain way, the mystery is removed and the desire to binge is lessened. However, we in America do not drink wine with our dinners as part of our culture like the French. The vast majority of our kids see alcohol consumed by either an alcoholic in an excessive fashion or in a party “this is such a fun thing to do” fashion. When we grown up Americans stop treating alcohol like we might not ever get any again, then we can start teach our kids from way in the beginning how to act around it and then we can lower the drinking age.”

    And what steps do you think could be taken to combat this? Do you think stricter enforcement of Legal-Age 21 is necessary? Perhaps we should raise the age to 25 to match the research you cited on brain development? Perhaps outlawing alcohol all together?

    What make the most sense to you, what do you think we, as a society, should do? You’ve done an excellent job of outlining the problem, now what is the solution?

  10. Marshall Guthrie Says:

    DJ,

    Interesting idea. How would raising the age of consent across the board to 21 affect our society?

  11. Marshall Guthrie Says:

    Matthew,

    I also know some 50 year olds who haven’t wised up since they were 18. Maybe simply getting older isn’t the key to wisdom? Maybe you need to be taught the right lessons along the way (a position which you advocate, I take it, based on your last sentence)?

  12. Ryan Garcia Says:

    I do not understand how an eighteen year old person has the right to buy cigarettes and tobacco, but they are not allowed to buy alcohol and legally drink. Many college students as young as seventeen years old drink nightly at parties and get togethers. Drinking alcohol is essential to college life and college parties nowadays. Most of the people who throw these parties do not care or take into consideration the age of whoever attends their party. They are only looking into a good time. While the reality of it is not very charmful, this is what really happens in the college years. Yes, you go to school and you study and go to classes, but once all of this is over, the night is young and ready. Celebrations are thrown with alcohol left and right. They are at dance/night clubs, college dorm rooms, sorority and fraternity houses, bars, and house parties at apartments. I agree with Choose Responsibility from Vermont. They want to lower the drinking age to eighteen. I feel that if people eighteen and over have the ability to move out of their houses, go away to college, buy cigarettes, go to night clubs, and have full time jobs, then they should also be able to legally buy and drink alcoholic beverages. Reason being, a lot of kids who are twenty one and under, drink secretly. When they drink in secret they are so concerned with “not getting caught” that they focus less on being responsible drinkers. If the drinking age is changed to eighteen, hopefully there is a chance that younger kids who drink at eighteen won’t be distracted to drink irresponsibly.

  13. Corey Says:

    I like what DJ is saying. Old enough to fight old enough to drink. If you say lowering the drinking age wont curb binge drinking we say explain. You will hve to explain how it will decrease binge drinking. I don’t want this country to become a police state in the name of alcohol and we could become a police state if we let MADD do all the lobbying for us! All madd cares about is money and revenge! Dont send any more money to MADD, no matter what they say! MADD chapter Las vegas only recieved $1.29 of $129,000 in fundraising!

  14. Liz Cason Says:

    Choosing responsibility IS something you should learn “along the way”…from parents, extended family, teachers, coaches AND experience! To generalize about ANY group, whether it is social, racial, religious, GENERATIONAL etc., is, in itself, simply irresponsible. Surely, there is abuse of MANY things in this (AND other countries). There will always be people who don’t know when to say “NO” to something…even brownies! But to boldly state,” When we grown up Americans stop treating alcohol like we might not ever get any again,…” shows a real lack of broad thinking.

    There ARE people in this country who drink responsibly, and have taught their children about the dangerous of abuse and addiction, from an early age. It is not that this attitude and behavior DON’T exist in our country…it’s all about youthful attitudes and behaviors (in general :)! To be quite frank, I believe it would probably be wiser to lower the legal drinking age (while seriously enforcing abuse), and raise the age of military service! The sad truth is, there is (generally speaking) a youthful tendency to feel immortal…that’s why so many young people do such silly things. And THAT is why many in the military community like to have young recruits. I am NOT against military service. I believe in the need for a military presence (sad, but true), in our country and around the world. But, I would MUCH prefer my 18 year-old son or daughter learn life lessons in their “home environment”, even with the ability to drink alcohol, than in a military environment, where the possibilities of death (whether it be their own or another’s) is absolutely a real possibility.

    This is NOT (as I stated earlier) a message about military…rather, a declaration of freedom to make personal decisions, based on sensible guidelines…as opposed to what really seem to be the personal attitudes of others, towards alcohol or anything else. That being said, I DO believe that, in the end, the enforcement of guidelines and rules is really what it’s all about. More parents, school officials, bartenders AND law enforcement MUST take responsibility for enforcing safe practices…There’s enough “buck passing” to be shared by ALL.

    This is a difficult and delicate issue…I don’t have THE answer, any more than another. But, I do hope that more THINKING people will get involved in this debate, and do what they can to be a part of the decision-making process.

  15. David Says:

    I think the should because it will stop people from drinking under age!!!