The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Set one age as the age limit to drink, smoke, ect.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/10/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 286 times Debate No: 87976
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




Young adults get many adult responsibilities at the age of 18. Some claim the age of 18 as adulthood. Even though people ages 18-20 are still not able to do certain things because they are under an age limit. So the big question is at what age is a person an 'Adult'? why not have just one age that people must be to do anything from drinking to renting a car and so on.

A person can get a job at the age of 16 as well as get a license. This is the first age limit that people face. This age limit doesn't give people complete freedom. I do not think this age should be changed. Most people do not face enough problems in high school where they make "adult" decisions. They wait until the age of 18 to move freely in the world... to an extent.

One of the hardest jobs to do is serve in the military and a person could be risking their life overseas and when they get home they are still under the age limit or drinking. The least thing a soldier can do after a tour is have a drink.

Outside of drinking many things require one to be at least 21 to do. some even are at least 25 years of age. Purchasing weapons have a range of age limits. How can a person at the age of 18 purchase a rifle at a local outdoors store but cannot purchase a handgun because they are not 21 years of age? what is the difference? Both are guns. Both are highly dangerous.

Too many laws that restrict people from doing things. We can't keep up with how old we have to be to do anything.


I will be arguing the "con" side of this debate, and taking the position that there are age limits and restrictions for a reason.

While I do not totally agree that the current age restrictions placed around certain things here in America, I do believe that there are reasons to the restrictions that are currently in place. Regarding driving laws, it seems perfectly reasonable for a persons to have to wait until they are around 16 years old to be able to drive a vehicle without a parent present - in most states in America, someone can actually receive their license slightly earlier than this, depending on how quickly they finish Driver's Education.

Now, you mentioned that you do not think that the age to drive should be changed. Given that you are arguing for a single age limit, does this mean that 16 years of age should be the only age restriction for everything that you've mentioned (driving, military service, drinking, etc)?
Debate Round No. 1


Honestly, driving isn't a huge thing. It just so happens to have an age limit. People should be learning to drive from an early age. It isn't something that has too much effect on, well, anything. Almost everyone drives, so when they learn/ get a license doesn't matter. People learn the responsibilities to drive quick and it is the same with everything.

Everyone knows, for instance, the phrase "Drink responsibly" that is said on alcohol ads. People know the effect of alcohol. Everyone is responsible for their own actions when it comes to alcohol consumption. Once people turn 18 and leave home they know plenty about the responsibilities that come with moving out and going to college.

With the 3 year difference between 18 and 21 people are pretty much in the same position. They are still moved out and, for most, still attending college with all the same responsibilities. Nothing really changes so why the 3 years?


While I agree that people should be learning to drive from an early age, and I think most people that plan on driving do start at least learning to earlier than the legal age limit, I don't agree the time spent learning doesn't matter. After driving for some time, it may seem like almost a second-nature, but that doesn't not necessarily mean that it is second-nature to someone who has never been behind the wheel of a car before. Someone who has never actually driven a car before may not know the rules put in place by Driver's Education. On the other hand, there certainly people that are well beyond 16 years old that do not follow the traffic laws set in place, whether it be speeding, passing on the right, or not using the left lane to pass, or something else. So, when you talk about someone learning how to drive, are you talking about the ability to turn a car on, put it in drive, and push down on the gas pedal?

Regarding alcohol, I also don't think it can be assumed that everyone knows to drink responsibly or the effects of alcohol on the body. I would even go so far as to say that there is plenty of evidence to support the opposite; that people, regardless of age (but especially those between 18-21), don't always drink responsibly or know the effects that alcohol will have on their body. According to, not only is the rate of drunk driving accidents highest among 26 to 29 year olds, but 30% of all drivers arrested or convicted for drunk driving are repeat offenders. Another statistic, provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related injuries, and about 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall. Keeping these in mind, what do you mean when you say that 18 year olds know plenty about the responsibilities that come with moving out and going to college?
Debate Round No. 2


Bottom line is everyone must pass the written and driving exam to get a license. when they do that it doesn't matter. 16 is just an age to where a person starts needing a car for school and or a job. From a young age a persons parents can teach them the "rules of the road" and get them to know all the laws until they are ready to get a license and a car. It's just a convenience. It is how I learned to drive a car. Some one doesn't need to have a license to drive a car as long as they follow the laws and don't get pulled over.

What causes someone to get a DUI? Them making the decision to drink and then drive. Its a persons choice to drink and drive. Nobody is forcing them to. It is up to the person to find a ride home if they are too intoxicated. A person is able to know how much is too much. If a student chooses to drink and blow his life away from alcohol and not focus on school that is their own issue. I'm not saying they deserve it. Its a choice that one makes. Since the age is 21, most college students shouldn't be drinking anyway. All of these deaths could be prevented. It isn't the law of the drinking age's fault this is happening. Changing the age would still just be a law that people take and abuse.

>what do you mean when you say that 18 year olds know plenty about the responsibilities that come with moving out and going to college?

Living on ones own requires plenty of responsibilities. People have to know to take care of themselves. Drinking to the point of causing self injury is not a reasonable way to take care of ones self. Everyone knows the effect of alcohol and knows drinking too much is dangerous. They are the only ones that can save themselves. Nothing else can be done.


As I stated in my response in round one, I don't completely agree with the way age restriction laws are used, but I do think that they are present for a reason. As far as the driving age is concerned, you mentioned that you wouldn't change the required age, and then mentioned that passing the written driving exam is the reason that people get a driving license. So, does this mean that you would want to keep and/or do away with the driving age, and make a single age restriction for everything else?

Secondly, as I pointed out in my last response, a large amount of people between the ages of 18 and 24 die every year from alcohol consumption or alcohol-related injuries. If the responsibilities that you are talking about are knowing how to take care of yourself, then as you stated, drinking to the point of causing injury is not a reasonable way to take care of ones self.
I'm not saying this because I don't think living on your own requires plenty of responsibility, or that the drinking age would change the amount of DUI's in young adults, but because I don't think that it's a fair assumption that everyone knows the effects of alcohol or that drinking too much is dangerous. Furthermore, the evidence that I provided in the last round suggests that people really don't know plenty about the responsibilities that come with moving out and going to college once they simply turn 18.

In any case, our debate is about changing age laws to a single age that would let you drink and smoke, and whatever else. Throughout each round, I still don't have a clear idea about what single age you are thinking that might be.
Debate Round No. 3


Any person can get a license at the minimum age of 16. Not that many people need one before the age of 16 so it can stay. Past the age of 16 anyone can get a license as long as they pass the tests.

18 is the age that I think everything should be set to besides, obviously, getting a drivers license.

Schools already teach or at least should be teaching students in health class about the effects of alcohol. They know the effects By the age of 18. It just comes down to how they use that knowledge.

The same is said for purchasing weapons, specifically guns. People should be able attend gun safety courses and be able to purchase handguns and get a concealed carry permit at the age of 18. Right now 18 year olds are allowed to purchase Shotguns and rifles. Why not any firearm?

Random age limit that i also want changed is the age limit used for renting cars (because why not). My knowledge of it had been 25 years and up can rent a car, however it seems to have been going down. Some car rentals are at age 20. Some are at 21. The reason why they put this age limit so high is due to the amount of auto accidents people from the age of 18-21 get it. I think that it should be lowered to 18. If an 18 year old has a perfect record with no accidents and no traffic infractions on their record, then they should be able to rent a car. I know some places allow people to rent a car at the age of 18, however not all car rentals are like this.

18 is an age where a person hits adulthood and should allow people to have full freedom with no more age restrictions.


Coyote18 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Peepette 7 months ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: At what set age a person should be able to drink, purchase a firearms and rent a car is not stated by PRO until round four, which left CON at a disadvantage in arguments; driving age became a non- sequitur to the debate as a result. CON had stronger rebuttals on the drinking age point. Regarding purchase of firearms and car rentals, these points were dropped by both sides until R4. Since CON FF R4 no rebuttals were made. Due to no clearly outlined contention of age proposed by PRO at the start, the debate went adrift; no winner. Only conduct point to PRO. S&G tied, no glaring errors on either side. Sources tied, although CON referenced MADD and NIAA, neither were cited.