The Instigator
fea1990
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
darkkermit
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

Changing the drinking age

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,631 times Debate No: 15279
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

fea1990

Pro

The drinking age should be changed back to 18. The fact that we punish people as if they are adults at the age of 18 means that we should also allow them to make their own decisions. Also a person can sign up to go to war a fight for his country and kill people, but he can't come home and have a drink at a local bar. If we are giving them punishment as an adult we should be giving them the responsibility as well.
darkkermit

Con

(a) Protect oneself from harm
The government has banned drugs and has created safety regulations in the interest of protecting citizens. There are many problems associated with development for underage drinking. The brain does not fully develop until the age of 21[1]. Studies show that alcohol is deterrent to the process[2]

(b) Protect others from harm
The government should protect others from harm. In the US, before the law raised the minimum drinking age to 21,Dr. Volpe Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Drunk Driving stated:
"Those between 16 and 24, although making up only 20 percent of licensed drivers, they are involved in more than 42 percent of fatal alcohol related crashes" [3]

Rebuttal:
Pro states that if one can fight a war, one can drink. This is non sequitur. Persons also are not allowed to make their own decisions at the age of 18, hence why the law exists.

http://tinyurl.com...[1]
http://tinyurl.com...[2]
http://tinyurl.com...[3]
Debate Round No. 1
fea1990

Pro

My opponent states the government has the drinking age set at 21 because the brain is not fully developed until the age of 21. But if the brain is not fully developed then why are the people at the age of 18 punished the same as anyone over 21 for any violation of the law? If the brain is not fully developed then they are not thinking like an adult, why are they punished like one? The fact that my opponent states that people between the ages 16 and 24 make up 42 percent of fatal accidents is irrelevant because the legal age to drink is 21, so the age restriction is apparently not working. If the age was changed to 18 children would not have to hide the fact that they are drinking and it would be a lot easier to manage those who are drinking and driving.
darkkermit

Con

(a) Protecting oneself from harm
The science speaks for itself that the brain is not fully developed at 18. Drinking alcohol below 21 causes brain development problems. See source 1. My opponent asks "if the brain is not fully developed then why are the people at the age of 18 punished the same as anyone over 21 for any violation of the law?" This question is a red herring. I don't know nor is it relevant.

(b) protecting others from harm
CON also states that it is irrelevant that those between age 16 and 24 make 42 percent of fatal accidents since drinking age is 21. However, by setting the age to 21, you are eliminating a huge portion of fatal accidents.:
"Michigan, for instance, had an increase of about 20 percent in deaths resulting from drunk driving when it reduced the drinking age from 21 to 18 in the Vietnam War era" - Dr. Volpe (http://tinyurl.com...). Clearly it is not "easier to manage them" as my opponent states.

Rebuttals:
Pro does not refute. These are dropped.
Debate Round No. 2
fea1990

Pro

CON states only one state that reported an increase in the deaths resulting from drunk driving. That's one state out of 50, there is clearly not enough evidence to support that the results from the state of Michigan would be the same as the other states. Not only is it one state, but it is also in a different era. People have changed since the Vietnam War therefore that statement is irrelevant. CON is only giving one state that reported an increase, and the increase was also in a completely different era. Also setting the age at 21 does not mean that the accidents between the ages 16 and 24 will not happen because the legal age to drink is now 21 and the accidents are still happening. So just by setting the age high does not mean that the accidents will be eliminated, and there is not relevant proof that if the drinking age as lowered these accidents would increase.
darkkermit

Con

Thanks to Pro or this debate.

Pro has failed to provide adequate reasons to change the status quo. It is his burden of proof. So far, all his arguments have been refuted and dropped. Pro did not try to rebute that drinking alcohol below 21 causes brain development problems in the final round.

Pro lasts contends that drinking and driving eliminates a huge portion of fatal accidents. He does not dispute my claims, but the methodology of the study. I can assure you that:
(a) Michigan is a big enough state to provide a good sample size
(b) There is no reason to believe that Michigan is different enough from the other states
(c) There is no reason to believe that the behavior of those between 18-21 have changed much after Vietnam War

As a final source, here is another study that shows the minimum drink age laws has made the roads safer.[4]

I have provided scientific evidence for my claims. PRO only cites opinions and rhetoric. Thank you and vote con.

http://tinyurl.com...[4]
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by darkkermit 6 years ago
darkkermit
@Fabian
I didn't have enough room to expand upon it, but essentially one is not free to do anything one wants. There still exists laws that limit my freedom.
Posted by reddj2 6 years ago
reddj2
come to my school and you will see why thats a bad Idea
Posted by Fabian_CH 6 years ago
Fabian_CH
Pro didn't pick it up,but: "Persons also are not allowed to make their own decisions at the age of 18" (Round 1, Con)

Other than alcohol, which decisions is an 18-year not yet allowed to make?

Con wins.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
A good, coherent debate. Con wins on the basis of evidence presented to support his claims.

The reason adult punishments are used, is that even a brain that is not fully developed responds to them, thereby deterring bad behavior to protect society. Children can be punished by grounding, which is actually harsh compared to adults who can only be yelled at -- usually ineffectively. So a less-developed mind may respond better to punishment.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Lionheart 6 years ago
Lionheart
fea1990darkkermitTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con makes valid points.
Vote Placed by JustinChains 6 years ago
JustinChains
fea1990darkkermitTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree that drinking causes brain damage, but smoking cigarettes causes just as many health risks, if not more. So, I do feel that the drinking age should be changed to 18. Either that, or the legal age for becoming an adult should be raised to 21 and all the benefits that come along with it should be changed accordingly. Even with that being said... Darkkermit made a more convincing argument and therefor gets the majority of points from my vote.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
fea1990darkkermitTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con had the evidence to back up his arguments.
Vote Placed by Scyrone 6 years ago
Scyrone
fea1990darkkermitTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con seemed to have this debate under control. Pro needs to work harder on his debates. When arguing facts, one must present them. Con presented his; Pro did not.