The Instigator
ballaboy1102
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
ASB
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points

Resolved: The national drinking age should be lowered to 18

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
ASB
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,309 times Debate No: 14271
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (7)

 

ballaboy1102

Con

Thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate.

con:
Contention 1: Alcohol is harmful to the development of the human brain.
The human brain doesn't stop developing until the early 20s at the earliest. If 18 year old adolescents are allowed to drink it can prove harmful to their development, both physically and mentally.[1]

Contention 2: The government just changed the age to 21 in 1984
The government as recently as 1987 proposed a bill opposite to this one.[2] Before a national regulation was set in place states had freedom to change the age as they deemed fit.

Contention 3: Teens are not able to handle the responsibility of Mood altering substances.
Mood altering substances are defined as those drugs which alter sensation, mood, consciousness or other psychological or behavioral functions.[3] Among college students, alcohol is a contributing factor to, 17000 deaths, 500,000 injuries, 600,000 physical assaults, and 70,000 sexual assaults.[4]

Contention 4: Alcohol related deaths are steadily decreasing since the introduction of the national drinking age being put into place in 1987. In 1987 there were 2,4094 driving deaths related to alcohol, in 2008 1,3846.[5] That is a very significant number when before the law was put in place the number hovered around 2,500 annually. One can easily draw the conclusion that by putting the minimum drinking age law in place drunk driving fatalities have decreased.

Conclusion
Allowing people 18 and older to drink would pose a threat not only to those adolescents who would choose to drink, but also cold pose a threat to those driving or innocent students on college campuses. Deaths due to alcohol have decreased since the minimum drinking age has been put in place.

sources
[1] http://www.fcs.uga.edu...
[2] http://www.abc.virginia.gov...
[3 ]http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org...
[4] http://www.csmonitor.com...
[5] http://www.alcoholalert.com...
ASB

Pro

My opponent says that alcohol is harmful to the development of a human brain yet he fails to mention that alcohol would be harmful to a brain that is already developed as well. Excessive drinking can cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a brain disorder due to vitamin B1 deficiency.
People who have this disorder have side effects on their brain are characterized by: confusion, coordination problems, hallucinations, memory problems, eye problems, and even inducing a coma or death, if it's left untreated.

This man says that the government changed the age to 21 in 1984. Yet before the government recognized the evils in alcohol beforehand by prohibiting the sale of alcohol in the United States. The government realized this but decided to appease the people of the United States issue by raising the drinking age to 21. People were purchasing alcohol illegally anyways. Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving led the assault against Capitol Hill to pass the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. It seems as if everyone thinks that the only drunk drivers are the ones under the age of 21.

This man says that teens are not able to handle the responsibility of Mood altering substances. As if adults can handle mood altering substances. Adults outside of college drink and drive as well.
Colleges and Universities often argue that the legal drinking age should be 18 because outlawing alcohol consumption in colleges for those under 21 makes the problem worse. These colleges and universities say that allowing alcohol consumption legally might help cut down alcohol related deaths in colleges because banning alcohol gets people to drink more. Rules are meant to be broken.
In the year 2001, of the 54,847 (72%) of all alcohol attributed deaths that involved males, 4,554 (6%) involved persons aged <21 years. Of the deaths among males, 41,202 (75%) involved men aged >35 years. Minors are not the only problem in alcohol related accidents. Countries that have their drinking age set 18 do not seem to have these problems.

Conclusion:
True, numbers have decreased in alcohol related instances since 1984, but I think that it is more of an overall awareness in that drunk driving is bad.

Example I being the age of 22 has had the idea of not drinking and driving drilled into my head so many times that I know it is wrong to do so.

You being a minor, you know the dangers of drinking and driving since you are in this debate. Just think, it took organizations like the Mothers Against Drunk Driving to get the government to change. While today, we hear about drunk driving everywhere just to remind us as to what we seemed to not know before 1984. This does not mean that minors should not drink. Minors should be allowed to drink for our generation is more aware of the dangers of drunk driving than the people who are above the age of 35.

references:
http://www.cdc.gov...
http://cognac.com...
http://www.misconceptionjunction.com...
http://health.yahoo.net...
Debate Round No. 1
ballaboy1102

Con

First off I would like to point out that the developmental problems I brought up are completely different from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. By drinking as an adolescent you hurt your bodies ability to grow and develop, both physically and mentally as it needs too. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is an entirely different problem. However you now seem to be arguing the negative effects of alcohol, which is contradictory to what you are debating.

I would also like to contend my opponents argument that the drop in driving fatalities due to alcohol is because of an increased awareness. Perhaps some numbers from before the law was passed in 1987 will help prove my point. 1982- 26,173, 1983- 24,635, 1984- 24,762, 1985- 23,167, 1986- 25,017. [1] If what you are saying is true, then awareness coincidentally was raised in the year the law was passed, because before then the numbers stayed consistent. If your want to look at the complete chart go to http://www.alcoholalert.com....
There are roughly 10 million citizens of the united states ages 18-21.[2] While I acknowledge that plenty of older people drink and drive there is no question that by taking alcohol out of the hands of 10 million drivers would make the drunk driving fatalities decrease. This decrease, due to the minimum age law (not awareness of drunk driving) has shown itself since the law was passed in 1987.

My opponent also contests that there are people outside of college who drink and drive, which is true. However that doesn't change the fact that there are 4146 colleges and universities in the United states,[3] all of which have students who can drive. That is a very large number of potential drunk drivers, and young students who may not have the capacity to make wise decisions.
"Myelination of the frontal lobes is not complete until very late in adolescence. Some researchers estimate that frontal-lobe development continues until age 25 to 30. The regions in the frontal lobe which are responsible for judgment, planning, assessing risks, and decision-making are the last areas to finish developing."[4]
It is a wise assumption to say that college students have not finished developing and cannot always make the wisest decisions. This also reinforces my first argument.

My opponent says,
"These colleges and universities say that allowing alcohol consumption legally might help cut down alcohol related deaths in colleges because banning alcohol gets people to drink more. Rules are meant to be broken."

If he wants to maintain that rules are meant to be broken and getting rid of the rules will stop these acts from happening, then surely he must advocate the same for everything. As an extreme example, one could say if we make murder legal, then the problem of murder will disappear, or significantly decrease. legalization of an act does not make something right. If it did the solution to the high crime rate in the country would be to convert to an anarchy with no rules. The problem is not eradicated by being ignored.
I would also like to point out that the numbers and statistics my opponent has brought up are 10 years outdated. I cannot take these as seriously as I would more recent statistics.

Conclusion
Alcohol is harmful to development of the brain in all stages of life, but especially adolescence.

Awareness of drunk driving may have increased, but it cannot be responsible for such a large decrease in drunk driving fatalities since 1987 when the minimum age law was passed. One cannot think this is merely coincidence.

There are many citizens of America aged 18 to 21, and removing alcohol from the hands of these people does help decrease alcohol related fatalities significantly. Making it legal for college aged students would not eradicate the problems of fatalities, or complications in development.

Sources
[1] http://www.alcoholalert.com....
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://wiki.answers.com...
[4] http://www.fcs.uga.edu...
ASB

Pro

Rebuttals:
It seems that since my opponents first argument he has seemed to mention body development issues that a minor experiences from alcohol consumption, but again has mentioned these problems as if these complications never happen to adults as well.

The long term effects of alcohol range from possible health benefits for low levels of alcohol consumption to severe detrimental effects in cases of chronic alcohol abuse. High levels of alcohol consumption are correlated with an increased risk of developing alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, mal absorption, chronic pancreatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and cancer. Damage to the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system can occur from sustained alcohol consumption.[2][3] Long-term use of alcohol in excessive quantities is capable of damaging nearly every organ and system in the body.[4] The developing adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of alcohol.[5]
http://en.wikipedia.org...


Second, of all my opponent says that:
"As an extreme example, one could say if we make murder legal, then the problem of murder will disappear, or significantly decrease."
This is exactly what what he said an extreme example.
If he says this, I'm sure that he must advocate this analogy with everything.
Computer is to monitor as alcohol is to murder. This statement is asinine.
He says that a person's conscious sees murder and alcohol consumption as the same thing.

He says that raising the age of alcohol consumption from the age of 18 to 21
puts 10 million less people on the road drinking. Well, if we raise the age from 18 years of age to 30, I am sure that less
people will drink and drive.

My opponent says that:
"Making it legal for college aged students would not eradicate the problems of fatalities, or complications in development."

My opponent argues for the total eradication of fatalities and complications of development due to alcohol, yet he doesn't
realize that the total eradication of drunk driving cannot be solved through raising the age limit.

That the persecution of minors cannot go on. Especially if the minors are the scapegoats in society saying that an 18 year old is not as competent as a 21 year old in making critical decisions. An 18 year old can make a decision about the future yet cannot drink. With age does not come maturity. A 65 year old can be as mature as an 18 year old.

He also states that frontal-lobe development continues until age 30. Does this mean that people below the age of 30 should not drive.

My opponent says that my arguments are contradictions because I'm arguing the dangers of adults drinking and driving.
Just because you argue the dangers of alcohol consumption for minors does not mean that I cannot argue the dangers of alcohol consumption for adults.
My opponent says that the stats prove raising the age of alcohol consumption has resulted simply in lowered drunk driving fatalities.
This is untrue... ever since the year 1987, the number of drunk driving casualties has GRADUALLY decreased every year. Is this due simply by raising the age.
GRADUAL change points to only one logical explanation. The increased knowledge in drunk driving.
http://www.alcoholalert.com...

Conclusion:
If my opponent strives for to total eradication of drunk driving, then he should strive for prohibiting alcohol... I do not know how far he will get in convincing people to do this.

Simply pointing the finger at one age group and persecuting them as if they are the only ones wrong for drinking is ALMOST
like punishing people for being gay.

My opponent has to admit there are problems in adults drinking as minors drinking.


Debate Round No. 2
ballaboy1102

Con

My opponent has made it painfully obvious that he does not understand the difference between the developmental problems I describe for a minor drinking alcohol and the possible harmful effects of long term alcohol abuse

Development •The act of improving by expanding or enlarging or refining. [1]
I don't deny that alcohol can be harmful at all ages, however as an undeveloped minor you have to worry about developmental issues as well.

My opponent also fails to see the point I am trying to make when comparing this to murder. I am simply saying that legalizing an illegal act doesn't make it ok.

I advocate that the age should not be lowered, I do understand that changing the age to 30 would also take drivers off the streets, but that is not a feasible solution.

You still hold to your argument that the decrease in drunk driving is due to knowledge about it. Then explain to me why the knowledge started on the year the law was passed?

I do admit their are problems in adults drinking as well as minors drinking, however minors face developmental problems as well as problems adults face.

Conclusion

taking alcohol out of the hands of impressionable minors would..
A. decrease drunk driving
B. lessen the chance of developmental problems
C. decrease the violent crimes among minors related to alcohol

thanks to my opponent and my audience.

sources
[1] http://www.google.com...
ASB

Pro

My opponent says that I cannot possibly comprehend the difference between development problems and long-term effects for alcohol by outlining the meaning of development.
My opponent argues for the development of minors, and I argue the long-term effects of alcohol consumption for adults. These two aspects are both under the same more specific category. A category called the effects of alcohol abuse.

I will now allow my opponent to stick his foot inside of his mouth before I continue...

My opponent is also arguing for the total eradication of alcohol abuse for minors, totally disregarding the adults who actually allowed to drink that abuse that right.

In conclusion, putting a ban on minors and labelling them as the problem does not get rid of the drinking problems in the United States for both minors and adults. Significant health problems are seen in both adults and minors so that makes my opponents argument moot.

Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
"In conclusion, putting a ban on minors and labelling them as the problem does not get rid of the drinking problems in the United States for both minors and adults."

This.
Posted by Debatingswimmer 6 years ago
Debatingswimmer
My argument is that once you turn 18 you ARE a legal adult. I'm not saying that I'm for it but honestly? Come on it's not that hard. The day you turn 18 you get to make your own choices andI don't see why it can't be lowered just a tiny bit to like 20 instead of 21. Alcohol is harmful at no matter what age you drink at soooooo it's your choice.
Posted by ASB 6 years ago
ASB
oh man i think my ststement is flawed...

thats what i get for writing it at 3 in the morning.

lol
Posted by flamebreath 6 years ago
flamebreath
to the instigator when chasing a topic such as this, it is probably better to go pro than con or possibly restate your topic
Posted by Cobo 6 years ago
Cobo
Nah, I'll Let someone else take it.
Posted by flamebreath 6 years ago
flamebreath
This debate might be very interesting
Posted by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
So, take it.
Posted by Cobo 6 years ago
Cobo
I wanna take this one.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
ballaboy1102ASBTied
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wiseovvl
ballaboy1102ASBTied
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Cobo
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