The Instigator
nyfan57
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
valcarcelm
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Alcohol age in America should remain at 21

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
valcarcelm
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/9/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,877 times Debate No: 23500
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

nyfan57

Pro

The drinking age in America has always been a controversial issue. I believe the drinking age shouldn't even be considered controversial.
Personally I believe that the age of 21 is the correct time for alcohol to begin being consumed for many reasons. This debate is 5 rounds with 8000 characters max per round.
valcarcelm

Con

I disagree. I believe the drinking age is too high and should be lowered to 18 for a number of reasons. I believe id a person at the age of 18 has the right to venture off alone and vote and make decisions for this country they have the responsibility to drink.
Debate Round No. 1
nyfan57

Pro

Thank you for accepting my debate. Alcohol consumption has nothing to do with independence which seems to be the claim to your opening argument. Can you please give me an example of how not drinking or drinking alcohol affects our independence.

Alcohol is in fact a drug.
The definition of drug can be defined as any substance that is absorbed by a living organism that modifies the way it functions. Alcohol clearly affects the way we function. An example is how someone's BAC while driving for the most part directly correlates to a higher fatality rate. This is why driving under the influence is illegal.
The FDA or food and drug regulation is the administration that is responsible for setting the drinking age in America. Americas FDA is very strict which has many more pros but a couple of minor cons.
For an example the FDA regulates all American food products. People who work for the FDA constantly run test on all the foods we can possibly find in our local supermarkets. For an example the meat we find in our local supermarkets are packed individually and frozen at a certain temperature to make sure bacteria such as Escherichia coli which is potentially deadly is not found in our food.

The reason why I bring up this example is to show how the FDA or at least Americas FDA cares about our general well being. If we go to other countries such as China for example you will not see the meat even packaged. It will actually be sitting on a rack exposed to airborne bacteria as well as potentially deadly bacteria such as Escherichia coli.
Once again the FDA cares about our general well being. This is why they have laws passed regarding drugs. This is also why doctors in America are for the most part the only ones who can pass out many types of narcotics. If these narcotics are not taken properly they are potentially harmful to us in a large variety of ways. This is why many of these drugs are not found over the counter. Some of these drugs can be very addictive which essentially makes them deadly.

Alcohol can obviously be deadly. It can also create many other problems if consumed at an age where the brain is still developing. People claim an age limit is put on alcohol because the more mature age group can handle its effects. This might in fact be partially true, However I think the age limit restriction is placed to prevent damage to the brain that is not fully developed.

Because of the above I think it's safe to say that the FDA has its reasons for putting an age limit on alcohol use. There are many reasons why they are justified in doing so as well which I will get to in the later rounds.
valcarcelm

Con

I am not stating that drinking alcohol affects our independence. What I am trying to state is when a person turns 18 they are given all adult rights accept for the fact that you cannot drink. In a legal court, if you commit a crime you will be tried as an adult because you are 18. However, how can you be tried as an adult, if you do not actually have full rights?

I believe that alcohol is in fact a drug and that the FDA has strict rules over the drinking age. However, the FDA is not enforcing the drinking age. WE all know that 90% of college students drink in large amounts before turning 21. By setting a drinking age as a law, it only makes younger people want to drink before turning 21 instead of just giving them that right to experiment when they turn 18.

My opponent states, "Alcohol clearly affects the way we function. An example is how someone's BAC while driving for the most part directly correlates to a higher fatality rate. This is why driving under the influence is illegal."
This in fact is not true. A person over 21 is allowed to have a BAC level of 0.08 legally. If an 18 year old driver had any Alcohol in their blood they would be tried as an adult even though they under 21. Bringing me back to my legal court point.
http://www.nj.gov......
Debate Round No. 2
nyfan57

Pro

The Point I am trying to make with the FDA is they try to enforce the law for our own good. Laws might be broken because its safe to say that America is far from a utopia along with almost everywhere else. I Think 90 percent of college students drink is a little off i would like to see a credible source,. Even if this is true they still shouldn't be drinking.

Our bodies become fully developed when we turn 21. Studies show during this time drinking causes Neuorapoptosis which is essentially our brain killing its neurons. Also at this time in our development the liver hasn't been fully developed which plays a key role in the absorption of alcohol. Drinking can also cause cognitive impairment which is defiantly not worth the risk of drinking alcohol at a age before 21.
http://news.wustl.edu......

When I referenced the BAC I solely referenced it to show how dangerous of a drug alcohol can be which is part of the reason why the FDA has an age limit on it. I know its illegal to drive with A BAC of 0.8 or higher.

I would also like to see a credible source showing how college students for the following "By setting a drinking age as a law, it only makes younger people want to drink before turning 21 instead of just giving them that right to experiment when they turn 18". I don't think there is any survey available on this.

Finally for this round can you define "adult rights" and give an example. I don't think drinking would be categorized as an adult right but rather a privilege. I Presume you also think driving a car is a right? That also happens to be a privilege.
valcarcelm

Con

1. You may presume that I think driving is a right. Since I never stated that, you are wrong. I understand driving is not a right, but a privilege. I define a privilege as proving you are capable of responsibility. I agree with you that drinking should be a privilege. However, it is not a privilege because the government has created a law stripping anyone under 21 of that privilege. So in reality, drinking would be a right if government had not interfered.
2. "Our bodies become fully developed when we turn 21. Studies show during this time drinking causes Neuorapoptosis which is essentially our brain killing its neurons. Also at this time in our development the liver hasn't been fully developed which plays a key role in the absorption of alcohol. Drinking can also cause cognitive impairment which is defiantly not worth the risk of drinking alcohol at a age before 21." This information is wrong because with more recent studies, they show that the brain is not actually fully developed til the age of 25. http://www.academic.marist.edu......
so what would differ between the brain development of a 21 year old and an 18 year old?
3. You are right. 90% of college students do not drink. It was wrong of me to throw random numbers out there. After some research, "college students under the age of 21, 82 percent report using alcohol within the past year and 69 percent report using alcohol within the last 30 days." http://www.alcohol101plus.org......
Debate Round No. 3
nyfan57

Pro

The Definition of privilege can be defined as the following: 1, a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most.
http://dictionary.reference.com......

I think its safe to say that drinking alcohol satisfies this definition of privilege. So therefore drinking alcohol is in fact a privilege and not a right.

To further argue my claim you stated: "I understand driving is not a right, but a privilege". Doesn't the government pass a law by state regulating what age we can drive? Therefor it seems you are contradicting yourself saying "However, it is not a privilege because the government has created a law stripping anyone under 21 of that privilege. So in reality, drinking would be a right if government had not interfered". I assume this is what you are trying to say here.

Speaking in rights vs privilege terms in law terminology there is a huge difference. Every American has rights from the day they are born thanks to our bill or rights. A privilege however is a process of requiring something because it is beyond the advantages of most. If there is a requirement for any law in most cases this satisfies a privilege rather then a right. Unless listed in the bill of rights. For an example the right to bear arms. Keep in mind the bill of rights make up our natural rights.

When you stated that our Mind continues to develop until we are 25. You gave me even more evidence to support my claim that the drinking age should remain at 21. Thank you for pulling up credible source for the percentage of college students who say they have had an illegal drink before. I still think this data is very skewed however because surveying a specific population makes the variable to fixated which results in insufficient data.
Thank you for Debating with me to this point. I will end my rebutting here and end the final found with a closing argument.
valcarcelm

Con

It is not a privilege to drink in this country. A privilege is something that is given to someone who deserves it. Alcohol is not by any means something deserved but a drink like any other that all should be allowed at the age of 18 to consume. Why you may say... Well, at 18 years old if I am allowed to drive on my own, kill someone and go to jail for life, then why wouldn't I be able to sip a glass of wine? Compared to all of these other things, it really isn't that serious of a thing to allow people to drink.

Something to point out would be that by prohibiting those who are 18 to drink, you are creating more of an issue in this country. People who are between 18 and 21 consume more alcohol then people who are 21 and above. This nature that they are forbidden to do so causes them to retaliate and drink more just in secret. In foreign countries like France, England, Spain, etc. the legal age of drinking is 18 and compared to America, they have less problems with drinking then America does. If we lowered the drinking age it would gradually decrease the amount of consumption by these 18-21 year olds because instead of going out on a thursday night and getting "wasted," they can just simply have a glass or two every now and then.

Regarding the bill of rights, it is an outdated document altogether and should be revamped to include alcohol and other important rights like gay marriage. If they would go over and edit the Bill of Rights and the rest of the Constitution every 8 years as it was proposed, then it would better fit today's modern issues in society. Currently, as it stands, the Constitution itself sets the basis for our laws. It too discusses alcohol as being a right because the Constitution as a whole defines our rights. It may not be a natural right that we have at birth, however, it is a right that we do have.

By changing it to 18 also, it will help reduce the number of deaths in this country each year that we have in drunk driving amongst teens because if they are allowed to drink then they won't be as reckless about it and they don't have to over indulge alcohol whenever they come into contact with it at parties and clubs since they don't know when they will get the chance to get some more.
Debate Round No. 4
nyfan57

Pro

I have to rebuttal your most recent claims because they are highly irrational. Once again alcohol is a privilege because it's a drug. A drug can be dangerous if it is not prescribed by a doctor or taken in more than moderation. Finally I think it's safe to say that the older we become the more mature we get. This is because of experience. We gain wisdom through all our experiences. There is no evidence showing that if the age was lowered t would directly correlate to less deaths. The age we should drink alcohol should remain at 21 for all these reasons.

The bill of rights is not at all outdated this isn't even a matter of opinion. The bill of rights offers us protection for our lives, liberties, and property. The whole issue you bring up on gay marriage is how lawyers interrupt how it is written. Unfortunately we have a lot of ignorant lawyers who ended up interrupting the law differently. For example how white male property owners used to be the only ones allowed to vote. Lawyers created this dilemma because they interrupted this in this way. Think of the lawyers as people trying to beat the system.
Alcohol clearly plays a huge effect on the brain when it is developing. We both found information that shows how alcohol effects are brain when it is developing. I think it's also safe to drinking alcohol is in fact a privilege as well.

Also as I said numerous times our FDA cares about our overall well being. This is why alcohol can only be legally consumed at the age of 21. Although people who are younger continue to consume alcohol at the age of 21 this gives no reason for the alcohol drinking age to be lowered. Thank you for debating me.
valcarcelm

Con

The bil of rights has not been updated. My reasons are as they stand we can have the public decide whose right. thanks for debating
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Travniki 5 years ago
Travniki
nyfan57valcarcelmTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Neither side really listened to eachother and they kind of just stated their opinions....but Pro dropped cons argument about maturity.