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Sat Aug 24, 2019, 05:42 AM

Why the US drinking age is 21

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 07:23 AM

1. If anyone get the answer please share it here.

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Response to mittalshivank (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 08:01 AM

2. Nancy Regan and her 'Just Say No' campaign

Nancy Reagan, as part of of her 'Just Say No (to drugs)' convinced Ronnie and several lawmakers to raise the drinking age to a uniform 21 across the U.S., or face the loss of federal highway funds.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 09:54 AM

3. Big-government Republicans

Of course.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 11:05 AM

4. Neuroscience Says Alchoholism Hard to Cure if Under 21

One scientific reason behind this law is a public health issue. The facts are that if a person becomes addicted to alchohol as an adolescent, it is very very much harder to recover. This has something to do with brain development and adulthood. The recovery rate for alcoholism if you are 21 or over is much better. So while I support freedom to drink and so get that if you are old enough to fight in the military but canít get a beer it is absurd, there is something of substance to the idea of discouraging adolescents from drinking.

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Response to McKim (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 06:30 PM

7. There has also been considerable research on adolescent/young adult brain development . . .

. . . research that was not available in the late 70s and early 80s, that serves to argue in favor of a higher drinking age.

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124119468

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Response to McKim (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 10:26 PM

9. The answer would be to raise the age of military service to 21, but then the recruits might realize

that bullets go 2 ways and often the "good guys" get shot too.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 11:40 AM

5. Only withholding 5% of the federal funds

was enough to get states to give in. They would still have 95% of federal funds.

The point about being drafted is interesting. I think they should leave it at 18 because of that. But then, maybe they should raise the draft age. It is curious why that was never considered.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 12:13 PM

6. Absurd

A 20 year old can have a couple of children, vote, be executed for a crime, serve in a state legislature, make every decision any adult can ó and canít buy a beer or glass of wine?
Absolutely ridiculous.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 06:41 PM

8. All of that may be true, but . . .

. . . there has been considerable research since the early 80s into the brain development of adolescents/young adults, that has shown that the centers of the brain that control things like judgment and the ability to think through consequences of actions are not fully developed until well into the 20s.

I started college in New Jersey in 1979, when the drinking age there was 18. The following year, it was raised to 19, and then later to 21. I and my fellow 18-year-old classmates drank -- a lot. And we weren't exactly responsible about it. And I'm sorry to say, there were some classmates who never were able to outgrow those early drinking patterns, and went on to struggle with alcoholism even to this day. So how ever "absurd" the original arguments for a higher drinking age might have been, there are much better arguments for it today.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 10:55 AM

11. Then SCantiGOP's argument is exactly correct.

If "the centers of the brain that control things like judgment and the ability to think through consequences of actions are not fully developed until well into the 20s,"

then it's ridiculous that

"a 20 year old can have a couple of children, vote, be executed for a crime, serve in a state legislature, make every decision any adult can ó and canít buy a beer or glass of wine?"

Are you in favor of raising the age of majority to 21 again? Or is it only drinking that you think should be prohibited to 18-20 year olds?

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 03:18 AM

10. The real reason: a sensational murder case in 1986

Before 1986 the legal drinking age in New York and most other large metropolitan areas (at least in the north) was 18. In 1986 there was a murder case in New York's Central Park that involved a 20 year old boy killing a 18 year old girl after the two had been drinking (legally) at a bar. Both were from wealthy upper-east side families. The boy had attended some of the most exclusive prep schools in the country. Naturally this made an otherwise routine murder case into front page news. It was labeled "the Preppie Murder". It was a major news story for months. Much was made of the fact that they were drinking. this resulted in political pressure to raise the drinking age to 21. Congress voted to withhold highway funding to any state that did not have a legal drinking age of 21. Soon all states had raised the age limit to 21.

Needless to say if the boy and girl were a couple of black kids from the Bronx no one would have heard of them and the drinking age would still be 18.

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Response to jg10003 (Reply #10)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 11:00 AM

12. National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed in 1984.

The New York Legislature raised the drinking age in New York from 19 to 21, effective December 1, 1985. Both of these things happened before Robert Chambers murdered Jennifer Levin on August 26, 1986.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #12)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 01:14 PM

13. the law must have been different in NYC. when I started NYU in 1976

The drinking age in the city was 18.

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