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Should be the legal drinking age be lowered from 21 to 18?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,942 times Debate No: 8006
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




Hey guys,
Here is my argument why I think the age should be lowered. First, I'm not American, I'm from Europe, Czech Republic but currently I live in the US and I'm 19 years old. In my country, our legal drinking age is 18, because when you are 18 you are classified as an adult. You can vote, get your drivers license, buy cigarettes and buy and drink alcohol. You are expected to behave as an adult. I think that 21 years is way too much.

Please tell me, how do you think it should be here in the US, because I live here only for a year, so I don't really have an experience.

Thanks for your arguments and please excuse my imperfect English.


Hello tadeaslenner, and thank you for posting this debate.

My opponent wishes to make the case that the drinking age should be lowered from 21 to 18. In order for me to win, I must convince you that lowering it to 18 is not the correct option.

I will argue that the drinking age should not be lowered to 18. However, it should be lowered, to 19. The age of 19 makes more sense for various reasons.

1. High school kids are 18. Allowing high school kids to purchase and drink alcohol is a very dangerous thing. Many schools across the country have kids who are 12 years old in the same school building as kids who are 18 years old. The differences are already big enough, but now these 18 year old high-schoolers would be able to buy alcohol for 13 and 14 year-olds. This is something that could be prevented by lowering it to 19. The likelihood of a 19 year old being in high school is greatly decreased. This still allows college students to drink (which isn't really that much of a problem anyway, as most colleges are okay with drinking underage) pretty soon after they get to school.

2. The argument "If you can vote/die for your country, you can drink" will not work here. Yes, the age where you can enter the army is 18. Yes, the age when you can vote is 18. But this has nothing to do, logically with a drinking age. I can say that "Old enough to drive, old enough to vote" or "Old enough to die for my country, old enough to be President." These are unsubstantiated qualifiers that make no logical sense and the situations cannot really be compared.

Lowering the drinking age to 18 is a worse idea than lowering it to 19. 19 is a more appropriate age in terms of high schools kids vs. college. Besides that, it can't hurt to keep alcohol out of young, growing bodies for just one more year. These are just opening remarks really, so let's have a good debate. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


Hi Aziar, thanks for your argument.

Here comes my reaction to your points.

1. Yes, some high school seniors are 18, but not all of them. Most of seniors are only 17 but you are correct that buying for minors would be a dangerous thing. But most of the schools have a very strict policy against alcohol, tobacco and drugs and violating these rules is the "big deal" as I suggest you can tell. But who would dare to bring alcohol to school and give it to a kid? I know that you probably mean it, that they would probably give it to them after school at a secret place but still, the trouble that might happen from this would still have some aftermath at school in form of In school/Out of school suspension.

2. You're right ,that the voting and joining army X drinking has nothing in common. Of course, drinking alcohol is a serious issue, because every years it kills a lot of people everywhere around the world (diseases, DUI, ...) but voting and dying for your country is a serious issue too. You're lucky that you're American, because you were born and raised in democracy,I was too, but my parents were not, they were born and raised in deep communism, so trust me voting is a big deal, I know that this can't really happen here, in the US so this is just a hypotetic reason.
But what is a few beers and some liqueur compared to getting a bullet in your head somewhere in Iraq? Somebody thinks that it is a honor to die for your country, for me it would be, but I would consider it as an honor to die in defending it against some intruders, not fighting somewhere in Middle East where there is no danger impeding directly to the US. Your reason is that you are chasing Al-Qaeda leaders but I think you have some other interests over there. But I don't want to jump to another topic which I don't know. So back to the drinking age. One last point. I don't think you can be a president at the age of 18, can you?

I must agree, that there are some reasonable and good points lowering it to 19. You must understand me, I've got another point of view than you, because I'm from different country, culture and mentality. I'm trying to defend the age 18, because that's how it works in my country and that's what I'm used to.
I'm looking forward to your next argument.


1. I believe most high school seniors turn 18 during the course of the year. My worry is not that they will bring the alcohol into school. Think of college. Freshmen and sophomores (18, 19, 20 years old) always get older upperclassmen to buy them alcohol. That's just what happens. In high school, the same thing would happen, except that the drinking would be dangerous. Instead of a 13 year old not knowing any 21 year olds because they are all far out of high school, he could know someone in the same study hall. All he has to do is pay the 18 year old senior a bit of money and he'll get his alcohol, at 13 years of age.

Having the drinking age at 19 is safer, in that way. It protects the younger kids in high school from easy access to alcohol, which their bodies (and minds) are not ready for. Will there be some kids who know 19 year olds? Sure, but many of them will be away at college or trade schools or what have you. The likelihood of a 13 year old ODing on alcohol will go down if there aren't any kids in his/her school that are legally able to drink.

2. Voting and being in the military are both very serious issues, I agree. However, there is no logical connection between drinking and those actions. Like my examples, because you're old enough to die for your country, should you be old enough to become President? Dying is more serious than becoming President, it would seem. So why is the age for President set at a minimum of 35? Because you can't compare the two. In that way, you cannot really compare voting and drinking or dying for your country and drinking. Just because there is an age limit does not mean they are logically comparable. And maybe you shouldn't be able to serve your country until you are 19 either. That way, you go out into the world and work or do something else for a year before you decide to go into the military. Perhaps I'm saying that military service age AND the minimum drinking age should be 19. It's just a possibility. So maybe both should change, because honestly 18 year olds are high school kids. 19 year olds have had a little college/real world experience under their belts. What's pushing off military service another year in the long run? This is just a thought.

I do indeed understand why you defend the age of 18; your country has done it that way for years, so it's the norm. There are other countries who have the age at 19 and they do just as well. When was your limit put into law? I'm just curious. Ours was official federal law in 1984, I believe.

You must understand though, that because 18 has worked in your country does not mean it will work in ours, necessarily. Just as some of our rules would not work in your country. 19 is the better age. It keeps young kids safer while still allowing college-aged kids to drink (which they already do). The lowering of the age from 21 would make people happy, and it would also keep the MADD (mothers against drunk driving) groups and such from being too up-in-arms because alcohol would be okay for highschoolers.
Debate Round No. 2


tadeaslenner forfeited this round.


Well, it is too bad my opponent forfeited the round. It was a good debate.

However, I think I have plainly shown that lowering the drinking age to 19 is in fact the best option.

- It will better keep alcohol out of the hands of 13 and 14 year olds because very few 19 year olds are still in high school.
- It still allows college aged kids to drink legally.
- The argument about being able to vote/fight at 18 so drinking should occur at 18 is a faulty one. By that logic, I could say "you can die at 18 for your country, so you should be able to be President at 18." Just because they have age limits does not mean they are comparable situations. Besides, I'm not even agreeing that military service age should be 18. That perhaps could be 19 too.

I believe I have proved that with my arguments better than my opponent has tried to prove his. 19 is the far better age at which to have the drinking age set. 21 is too high. 18 is just a little too low. 19 is perfect.

Thank you to my opponent and all viewing this debate. Vote CON!
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Aziar44 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:06