Drinking Age adjustment from 21 to 18.
Debate Rounds (5)
Thank you all who are interested in debating against me. I look forward to reading your arguments.
The United States Federal Government should adjust the statutory and/or judicial law restrictions of 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act, [23 U.S.C. " 158 (a) & (b) & 23 U.S.C. " 1208.3] from 21 years of age to 18 years of age. Funding, enforcement and effective implementation shall be guaranteed through any and all constitutional means.
Adjust: alter or move (something) slightly in order to achieve the desired fit, appearance, or result.
Statutory and/or Judicial: Statutory law or statute law is written law (as opposed to oral or customary law) set down by a legislature (as opposed to regulatory law promulgated by the executive or common law of the judiciary) or by a legislator (in the case of an absolute monarchy)
National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984: http://www.law.cornell.edu...
1. No forfeits
2. Semantics are established in R1 while allowing the Negative to pragmatically infer any information not structured by the affirmative.
3. No new arguments in R5
4. BOP: Each side must uphold their portion of the resolution on balance, or as a general principle
5. Violation or non-acceptance of any of the R1 rules or setup constitutes a 7-point loss.
This will be formatted in a Lincoln-Douglas debate style. Debaters are expected to offer or stipulate to a Value-Criterion structure and evaluate the round through that mechanism. Despite unpopular amongst some, theory, "kritiks," off-cases, and other non-traditional techniques are allowed and encouraged by the negation. The resolution is to be discussed in the abstract, though real-life examples may be used where appropriate.
R2: AC, NC (i.e. no rebuttals)
R3: 1AR, 1NR
R4: 2AR, 2NR
I look forward to anyone who accepts. Best of luck! Comment for any questions, comments or concerns.
Okay, I am fine with the rules and accept the debate.
Best of luck.
In beginning to discuss why Judicial Law must be altered to complement an 18 year old drinking age, I find it best to explain the historical significance of this statute. When most contenders to the 18 year old drinking age have reached a mutual consensus on is that this statute was put into place in order to protect those individuals under the age of 21 from alcohol related injuries/deaths. This has become widely accepted without much question. I would even go as far to say that people take this and even most laws on "good faith". They believe that every Law being implemented has the good of the citizens in mind. They fail to realize that this is furthest from the truth. This will be shown by careful examination of the 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act.
Before I defend the affirmation, I find it necessary to give two important facts in regards to this debate.
First, although many believe that anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from consuming alcohol in the United States, underage drinking is allowed in 29 states if done on private premises with parental consent, 25 states if for religious purposes, and 11 states if for educational purposes. This will be an important factor later on in the debate.
Second, this piece of legislation isn"t the first to have been crafted to combat controlling irresponsible drinking. The first was in the 1850s while the most recent being in the 1920s. They both proved to be detrimental and were quickly disbanded.
Right of Choice
My first and foremost contention regarding the changing of the drinking age from 21 to 18 is the right of choice. The audience must understand that there is no constitutional basis for this law to exist. It is a clear representation of the government taking a direct role in your life by stripping you of your basic rights. I stand firmly believing that once someone reaches the age of 18, they are legally and thus obligated to take responsibility for their actions. Whether or not alcohol is found to be detrimental to those between 18 and 21, 18 is the age of adulthood in the United States. When someone turns 18, they are endowed the rights and responsibilities of the active members of the society which include the right to vote for legislative officials, smoke tobacco, get into legally binding contracts, be prosecuted as adults, and what I find most interesting, joining the military- which is a direct risk to one"s life, future and psychological well being. How have we come to a point in society where military recruitment can begin scouting teenagers at the age of 16, 2 years below legal age, yet those of legal age aren"t responsible enough to drink alcohol?
We can clearly see that the motives behind the restrictions on alcohol have nothing to do with the safety of well-being of the user, but stem much deeper than that. In voting Pro, the voter is given the right to methodologically free those unheard voices from the shackles of oppression. In doing so, we are not only voicing equality amongst those not being heard and showing how this takes precedent, but also showing our disdain for those powers be who we wish to discontinue medalling into our personal lives.
In going forward with this debate, I will be expanding on the Historical significance and Right of choice into my rebuttal speeches. Any further contentions which will be presented will stem directly from the refutation to my opponents arguments.
Amethyst Initiative, "Statement," www.amethystinitiative.org (accessed March. 22, 2014)
Annie Chiappetta, "Should Drinking Age Be 18?," www.abcnews.com, Apr. 14, 2005
GPO Access, "Title 23--Highways: Chapter 1--Federal-Aid Highways," (56 KB) www.gpoaccess.gov
Obviously, alcohol has negative effects on a human"s mind and body. From - Brain- Alcohol interferes with the brain"s communication pathways, makes it harder to think clearly and messes up balance and coordination. Heart- Cardiomyopathy (stretching and drooping of heart muscles), High blood pressure, Stroke. Liver- Alcoholic hepatitis, Fibrosis. Cancers- Mouth, Throat, Liver, Breast. From - Liver disease, Alcohol poisoning, Slurred speech, Ulcers, Malnutrition. If this list is not enough proof of the negative effects of alcohol, I am sure there are other impacts I have not mentioned.
An 18 year old mind is less mature than a 21 year old mind .
 suggests that the human mind develops from 18 to 21 but that the brain is still not fully matured with decision-making until about the age of 25. To allow 18 year olds the right to drink knowing their minds are not as mature as the minds of 21 year olds would be illogical and dangerous.
Alcohol can be connected to various crimes .
Though initially the link shows the differences between 18 and 21, if you read further down, you read that alcohol annually contributes to somes 1,700 deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault among college students.
So to decrease the legal drinking age to an age group where minds are not as developed would seem illogical and dangerous.
Sorry the opening statement was short, but it was to the point.
Now that I"ve illustrated the insignificance of my opponent"s first claim, onto my opponent"s second contention that an 18 year old mind is less mature than that of a 21 year old. I have yet to find the relevance in this fact. I have chosen not to argue that the difference between 18 and 21 is significant, however chosen to cross-apply my Right of Choice contention from my round 1. Although it may be significant to say that allowing adults to make the choice to drink alcohol at 18 is illogical and dangerous, my opponent has failed to realize the responsibilities which have been endowed by society to these individuals already. ". I stand firmly believing that once someone reaches the age of 18, they are legally and thus obligated to take responsibility for their actions. Whether or not alcohol is found to be detrimental to those between 18 and 21, 18 is the age of adulthood in the United States. When someone turns 18, they are endowed the rights and responsibilities of the active members of the society which include the right to vote for legislative officials, smoke tobacco, get into legally binding contracts, be prosecuted as adults, and what I find most interesting, joining the military- which is a direct risk to one"s life, future and psychological well being." We do not live in a society of picking and choosing what rights and responsibilities adults have. We cannot agree that someone can purchase cigarettes, which have been known to cause various forms of cancer, dementia and other degenerative diseases, and turn around and say that they cannot purchase alcohol because they aren"t mature enough to make that decision. If someone is mature enough to be able to formulate complex ideas, work a job, get married, fight and die for this country, then they are mature enough to decide what they would like to ingest into their bodies. I"d like to take this moment to cross apply the first fact that was given in my opening in round 1, "although many believe that anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from consuming alcohol in the United States, underage drinking is allowed in 29 states if done on private premises with parental consent, 25 states if for religious purposes, and 11 states if for educational purposes. This will be an important factor later on in the debate". The status quo allows for the ingestion of alcohol for underage drinkers with the consent of parental supervision. This in itself should be enough for the audience to see that the argument of "detrimental to health" is clearly a fa"ade that holds no ground in substantive impacts of the world, and thus this debate.
Onto the third and final contention my opponent addressed in his speech is that alcohol can be connected to various crimes. I have researched 4 major flaws with this contention.
1.There are fewer drunk driving traffic accidents and fatalities in many countries with MLDA of 18. Although the United States increased the MLDA to 21 in 1984, its rate of traffic accidents and fatalities in the 1980s decreased less than that of European countries whose legal drinking ages are lower than 21 .
2.MLDA 21 is not statistically associated with lower rates of suicide, homicide, or vandalism. In a 2002 meta-study of the legal drinking age and health and social problems, 72% of the studies found no statistically significant relationship despite claims that lowering the MLDA to 18 would increase suicide and criminal activities by adolescents .
3.Allowing 18- to 20-year-olds to drink alcohol in regulated environments with supervision would decrease unsafe drinking activity. Prohibiting this age group from drinking in bars, restaurants, and other licensed locations causes them to drink in unsupervised places such as fraternity houses or house parties where they may be more prone to binge drinking and other unsafe behavior .
4.Lowering MLDA 21 would reduce the number of underage people who are hurt from alcohol-related injuries or accidents due to fear of legal consequences if they sought medical attention.
1. Cox, Tony. "Brain Maturity Extends Well Beyond Teen Years." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
3. Choose Responsibiltiy, "FAQs," www.chooseresponsibility.org
4. Alexander C. Wagenaar and Traci L. Toomey, "Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws: Review and Analyses of the Literature from 1960 to 2000," Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 2002
5. Thomas S. Dee and William N. Evans, "Behavioral Policies and Teen Traffic Safety," American Economic Review, May 2001
6. Peter Asch and David T. Levy, "Young Driver Fatalities: The Roles of Drinking Age and Drinking Experience," Southern Economic Journal, Oct. 1990
7. "Alcohol Impaired Driving," National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, www.nhtsa.gov, 2009
8. Barry M. Sweedler, "The Worldwide Decline in Drinking and Driving: Has It Continued?," Presentation for the 15th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety in Stockholm (Sweden), www.ntsb.gov, May 2000
9. Jeffrey A. Miron and Elina Tetelbaum, "The Dangers of the Drinking Age," Forbes, Apr. 15, 2009
My opponent then argues that because as 18 year old can be tried as an adult, can vote and can buy cigarettes, they should be legally allowed to buy alcohol. I spot a major flaw in logic that I hope my opponent and the audience will see after reading this. Comparing cigarettes to alcohol cannot be beneficial in stating that alcohol should be legal for 18 year olds. This is because of one simple fact- cigarettes only cause harm to the individual. Yes, there are effects passed on to those around smokers, but it is that individuals responsibility to get themselves away from that situation. However, alcohol leads to more dangerous effects to those not involved in the consumption of alcohol.  and  show the effects of alcohol to general society, with drunk driving costing the US $132B a year and contributing to 37% of rapes and sexual assault. Through my research, I have not found that smoking cigarettes leads to the same outcomes as drinking alcohol. This is a prime reason why we should reduce alcohol intake as much as possible.
Onto my rebuttals of their initial argument:
My opponent had historical context in which the law was passed prohibiting minors from drinking/purchasing alcohol. They also stated that many states allow underage drinking when with a parent or for religious or educational reasons.
Let's take a look into some of these laws :
Colorado- The law permits a student who "tastes but does not imbibe an alcohol beverage only while under the direct supervision of an instructor who is at least twenty-one years of age and employed by a post-secondary school;
Florida- *The law permits "the tasting of alcoholic beverages by a student who is at least 18 years of age" as part of a course at an accredited post-secondary educational institution, but the student may not "consume or imbibe" the alcohol.
Missouri- The law permits a student 18 years of age or older who is enrolled in a culinary course at an accredited college or university "to taste, but not consume or imbibe, any beer, ale, porter, wine, or other similar malt or fermented beverage as part of the required curriculum."
You see, majority of the laws only allow a taste of alcohol and those that don't do not allow the minor to get black out drunk without penalty. So to change the law to make it more dangerous because minors can sip alcohol at the age of 18 with an adult present is illogical and therefore shall not be implemented.
My opponent then argues for the right of choice. This is a right that people can have, yes, but that does not mean that their choice is immune to punishment. I have the right of choice to drink as a 16 year old, but that does not make me immune to my punishment and that is not a valid argument in any type of federal or state court. Throughout this argument, my opponent continues to compare rights such as being tried as an adult and voting to rights that WILL physically and mentally harm you and those who surround you, more so than cigarettes (which I presume is why cigarettes are available for purchase at an earlier age).
My opponents final argument is that the legal age for drinking is not for the protection of society but rather to strip your freedom of choice, which is extremely more illogical than they accused my arguments of being. If the government wanted to strip the rights of the individuals, they'd make things like cigarettes and porn unavailable for purchase until a later age, so it is genuinely for the protection of the people. You cannot argue that this is false because cigarettes are available for purchase at 18 because as I have previously proven, alcohol has more fatal effects with a larger victim population.
CloudKylion forfeited this round.
For if/when my opponent returns:
You said that minor drinking under parental supervision will promote better, safer drinking habits when they are legally allowed to purchase and consume alcohol without their parents. However, you neglected to think about the effects of lowering the age following this argument. If minors don't have the ability to practice safe drinking at age 18, how can weexpect them to be responsible when they can finally consume it themselves? If you suggest we start drinking at an earlier age to promote safe drinking when legal, won't that perpetually decrease the drinking age until it is soon 13 or younger?
CloudKylion forfeited this round.
JacobAnderson forfeited this round.
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