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Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby great gretzky » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:38 pm

knapplc wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:I'd like to see ...a more Europeanesque approach to alcohol use among minors.

(sorry for the edit)

Agree totally here. Europe's take on alcohol isn't perfect, but it's a far sight better than ours.


I disagree with this conclusion, even though I agree with the idea that its time to lower the age to European standards.

The per capita consumption in Europe blows us away, as does their rate of alcoholism, maybe its functional, but its there. America is not really that high on the consumption list, so I'm not sure its a "far sight better" in many respects. Philosophically, I agree with their mindset. But in terms of everyone deferring to their sophisticated superiority, I'm not sold, because the raw numbers don't support it.

But everyone ALSO has to factor in that european teens also have a far better public transit situation than we do, so there is less risk in terms of car accidents and the like for them to have a lower age.
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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby Marrakesh Express » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:54 pm

drink in moderation kids
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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby great gretzky » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:03 pm

Marrakesh Express wrote:drink in moderation kids


not as fun though. We wouldn't have the hit song "one bourbon, one scotch, one beer." Because that would be one over "moderate."
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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby The Artful Dodger » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:26 pm

great gretzky wrote:
knapplc wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:I'd like to see ...a more Europeanesque approach to alcohol use among minors.

(sorry for the edit)

Agree totally here. Europe's take on alcohol isn't perfect, but it's a far sight better than ours.


I disagree with this conclusion, even though I agree with the idea that its time to lower the age to European standards.

The per capita consumption in Europe blows us away, as does their rate of alcoholism, maybe its functional, but its there. America is not really that high on the consumption list, so I'm not sure its a "far sight better" in many respects. Philosophically, I agree with their mindset. But in terms of everyone deferring to their sophisticated superiority, I'm not sold, because the raw numbers don't support it.

But everyone ALSO has to factor in that european teens also have a far better public transit situation than we do, so there is less risk in terms of car accidents and the like for them to have a lower age.


Not only is the transit system well networked in Europe but with towns split apart, usually drinkers aren't too far away from home given they're within their own city limits. However, drunk driving is actually increasing in Europe despite extremely tight rules, France in particular.

As for the drinking age, personally I'd like to see the drinking age back to 18 but there's such a cultural difference in the philosophy of drinking between Europe and America in general. In America, parents tend to treat alcohol as some kind of mystical substance that their kids must not touch, which actually raises the intrigue of consuming alcoholic beverages. In Europe, it's a bit different. At about 11-12, it tends to be OK to consume a glass of wine or one beer in moderation, especially in celebratory events. Several years ago, my English cousin was underaged at the time but yet could have a few glasses of wine because his father was remarrying. Perfectly normal. Of course, the moderation is in control of the parents there but you don't find that kind of intrigue about booze in Europe than you would in the States. As a result, I'd say parents here should be more pragmatic that if their high school aged kids go to a party, it's a given that there's booze and that their kids are going to have a drink or two. That should be OK but moderation must be practiced. The fundamental difference is, and it's the same purpose in Europe, is that kids get drunk not so much to get wasted but the feeling of getting wasted.

As pragmatic as Europeans are with booze, they're finding hard alcohol to be a massive problem in Europe. They've covered beer and wine but teenagers and college age students have a massive fascination with hard alcohol, no different from the States. It's no strange thing to see drunken driving incidents increase in France over the last few years in my experience, seeing that a lot of what was downed were vodka-based cocktails. The pressure to drink hard alcohol when you're 12 or 13 is also much greater in Europe compared to the States, from what I've seen.
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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby sblinyy » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:31 pm

The legal age now is 21 and I'm positive that lot of people drink from the age 18-20. So does anyone think that lowering the legal age to 18 would cause more people the age of 15-17 to drink?
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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby teddy ballgame » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:40 pm

sblinyy wrote:The legal age now is 21 and I'm positive that lot of people drink from the age 18-20. So does anyone think that lowering the legal age to 18 would cause more people the age of 15-17 to drink?

It would certainly make it easier for younger high school students to get alcohol. As the year goes on more and more seniors could buy alcohol making it pretty easily available for 14 year old freshmen.
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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby StlSluggers » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:11 pm

The Artful Dodger wrote:As pragmatic as Europeans are with booze, they're finding hard alcohol to be a massive problem in Europe. They've covered beer and wine but teenagers and college age students have a massive fascination with hard alcohol, no different from the States. It's no strange thing to see drunken driving incidents increase in France over the last few years in my experience, seeing that a lot of what was downed were vodka-based cocktails. The pressure to drink hard alcohol when you're 12 or 13 is also much greater in Europe compared to the States, from what I've seen.

I was reading a presentation earlier asserting that teenagers are less impaired by alcohol upon consumption allowing them to drink more. Specifically, it said:

Differential Effects : Sedation
* Less sedation means that adolescents can keep drinking longer without falling asleep.
* Result is higher consumption of alcohol than adults.

I would think that this would lead to a higher rate of hard liquor consumption, since you can down more shots without feeling it for a longer time.

Link to presentation
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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby Old_Style » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:54 pm

teddy ballgame wrote:
sblinyy wrote:The legal age now is 21 and I'm positive that lot of people drink from the age 18-20. So does anyone think that lowering the legal age to 18 would cause more people the age of 15-17 to drink?

It would certainly make it easier for younger high school students to get alcohol. As the year goes on more and more seniors could buy alcohol making it pretty easily available for 14 year old freshmen.


Good point. I can't begin to count how many packs of cigarettes I bought for juniors, when I was a senior. Booze probably wouldn't be any different, especially if you get a kick back every now and than.
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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby imphishy » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:39 pm

Lower the drinking age, but raise the driving age. Let kids learn to drink responsibly before you let them drive cars.
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Re: Colleges Ask, "Should We Lower Drinking Age?"

Postby The Artful Dodger » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:46 pm

StlSluggers wrote:
The Artful Dodger wrote:As pragmatic as Europeans are with booze, they're finding hard alcohol to be a massive problem in Europe. They've covered beer and wine but teenagers and college age students have a massive fascination with hard alcohol, no different from the States. It's no strange thing to see drunken driving incidents increase in France over the last few years in my experience, seeing that a lot of what was downed were vodka-based cocktails. The pressure to drink hard alcohol when you're 12 or 13 is also much greater in Europe compared to the States, from what I've seen.

I was reading a presentation earlier asserting that teenagers are less impaired by alcohol upon consumption allowing them to drink more. Specifically, it said:

Differential Effects : Sedation
* Less sedation means that adolescents can keep drinking longer without falling asleep.
* Result is higher consumption of alcohol than adults.

I would think that this would lead to a higher rate of hard liquor consumption, since you can down more shots without feeling it for a longer time.

Link to presentation


Very interesting read. I think that answers the question on how and why teenagers can keep drinking at a fairly high rate without directly feeling the adverse effects until later. Personally, I've always had a predisposed high degree of tolerance (yet I don't have a family history of alcoholism) but found it was most resilient when I was a teenager.
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