The Instigator
Slothisticated
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Elijahhill97
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Should the Drinking Age be lowered to 18

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Elijahhill97
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/22/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,292 times Debate No: 62100
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Slothisticated

Pro

In the United States and in many provinces in Canada citizens are legally considered to be adults and are considered mature enough to vote, smoke, be prosecuted as an adult and even become eligible for enlistment in the military. If an 18 year old is mature enough to make choices that are potentially life threatening, as well as responsible enough to vote and even in some cases to hold an elected office, then why shouldn't adults be allowed to purchase and consume alcohol. Legal paternalism is a very anti-progressive concept that doesn't fit properly within the rather liberal societies of both Canada and the US and its influence over drinking age should be changed due to the lack of enforcement of the drinking age as well as the fact that very few citizens follow the Law. Like founding father Thomas Jefferson once said "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." (1) and in this case individuals take their obligation with a smile on their face and Shots...Shots... Shots readily in hand.

"Thomas Jefferson." - Wikiquote. Wikiquote, 13 Jan. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://simple.wikiquote.org...;.
Elijahhill97

Con

Since you did not post any rules for this debate I will jump right in.

To begin with the statement:
"legally considered to be adults and are considered mature enough to vote, smoke, be prosecuted as an adult and even become eligible for enlistment in the military. If an 18 year old is mature enough to make choices that are potentially life threatening, as well as responsible enough to vote and even in some cases to hold an elected office, then why shouldn't adults be allowed to purchase and consume alcohol."

1. But when you turn 18 you don't get everything "unlocked".
"Many rights in the United States are conferred on citizens at age 21 or older. A person cannot legally purchase a handgun, gamble in a casino (in most states), or adopt a child until age 21, rent a car (for most companies) at age 25, or run for President until age 35. Drinking should be similarly restricted due to the responsibility required to self and others.(1)"

Many of the list given when turn 18 are about how they are a danger and risk to yourself but lowering the drinking age is not a risk just to yourself, it is a risk to anyone on the road when you drink and drive. Now yes it is possible that SOME will not drink and drive,but it is impossible that all will not which brings me to my next point.

2. "100 of the 102 analyses (98%) in a 2002 meta-study of the legal drinking age and traffic accidents found higher legal drinking ages associated with lower rates of traffic accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that MLDA 21 decreased the number of fatal traffic accidents for 18- to 20-year-olds by 13% and saved approximately 27,052 lives from 1975-2008.(1)"

"Alcohol consumption can interfere with development of the young adult brain's frontal lobes, essential for functions such as emotional regulation, planning, and organization. When alcohol consumption interferes with this early adult brain development, the potential for chronic problems such as greater vulnerability to addiction, dangerous risk-taking behavior, reduced decision-making ability, memory loss, depression, violence, and suicide is greater.(1)"

"" Harmful use of alcohol results in the death of 2.5 million people annually, causes illness and injury to millions more, and increasingly affects younger generations and drinkers in developing countries.
" Nearly 4% of all deaths are related to alcohol. Most alcohol-related deaths are caused by alcohol result from injuries, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and liver cirrhosis.
" 6.2% of male deaths are related to alcohol, compared to 1.1% of female deaths.
" 320 000 young people aged 15-29 years die annually, from alcohol-related causes, resulting in 9% of all deaths in that age group.(2)"

Now that is just mind boggling "320,000 young people aged 15-29 years die annually" Imagine that number if drinking could be not only easier but legal for 18 year olds still possibly in high school to buy it and possibly distribute.

Now this is just a intro into how damaging and bad lowering the age limit could be not only for the person themselves, but also their families, the victims family, and anyone on the road you could possibly injure or kill. In the following rounds I will continue to build my case for how damaging lowering the drinking age can be. Thank you very much for hosting this debate and I look forward to debating this.

(1)-http://drinkingage.procon.org...
(2)-https://ncadd.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Slothisticated

Pro

(MLDA) Minimum Legal Drinking Age

It seems that most of your argument is based upon the direct and indirect damage that alcohol can do to not only to the user but also the users family and innocent people. To apply some historical context to why the drinking age is as high as it is, id like to introduce the fact that Mothers against drunk driving campaigned and lobbied on a federal and national level in 1984 to change the drinking age to 21. The government at the time meet their demands and this is why the drinking age is 21. (1)

Yes not everything is unlocked at the age of 18 but the rights you are given are those that impact the individual rather than society. The concept of legal paternalism is reliant on the basis that everyone follows the laws. Just go to a college or high school party and you'll see underaged teenagers drinking alcohol. Why they drink when they're clearly breaking the law. They do it because doing so is a forbidden or rebellious act that gives youth the thrill of breaking the law. (2) with the lowering of the drinking age from 21 to 18 would remove said thrill, normalizing alcohol consumption and teaching youth to consume alcohol within moderation.

The website you cited your info from also had many pros to lowering the drinking age that perfectly combat the statistics given on the impact of drinking age on drinking and driving. But for the sake of the debate i will reiterate them for you. "In 2009, the 21- to 24-year-old age group had the highest percentage of drivers in fatal crashes with blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .08 or higher " 35 percent."(2) this proves that newly aged drinkers were the most responsible for fatal accidents involving alcohol. This statistic proves that regardless of how long you make adults wait until they drink they will continue to make the mistake of taking the wheel while under the influence of alcohol. "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". This proves that the increased drinking age did not impact the decrease of fatal accidents involving alcohol.

to respond to the allegations of high suicide rates and violence due to alcohol consumption, id like to quote the studies upon the MLDA. "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."(2)

To address the claims of injury and illness related the the MLDA "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."

I would also like to state that drinking and driving is illegal and morally wrong. There are very few people who would challenge that. But laws pertaining to drinking and driving are already within The criminal code and U.S. code if you wanted to prevent drinking and driving you'd make laws that punish and publicly denounce the act of drinking and driving rather than implementing an MLDA of 21. Its been proven that statistics given in your arguments are both miscued and unreliable which proves that there is no correlation between the raised MLDA and less fatalities and related issues.

It's obvious that the high MLDA of 21 encourages extreme behaviour in those aged 15-21 and treating it like the forbidden fruit of society is no way of solving issues that surround alcohol

"Drinking Age ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. .

"Mothers Against Drunk Driving." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Feb. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. .
Elijahhill97

Con

"Its been proven that statistics given in your arguments are both miscued and unreliable which proves that there is no correlation between the raised MLDA and less fatalities and related issues."

Your statement completely befuddles me if that is so true could you please state your sources and provide facts? Much of your argument is opinion based. you provide statistics for things I didn't even mention. Such as your statistic on on the suicide rate. They are saying it is a possibly due to drinking when the brain is not yet fully nor close to being done. Can you provide anything to say that isn't true?

"To address the claims of injury and illness related the the MLDA "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.""

That is quite hard to believe since it is still illegal to drink and drive. So I am pretty sure an 18 year old would be even more likely to not come forward. also can you provide anything that might help that statement? you simply saying that is a pure suggestion and assumption.

"It's obvious that the high MLDA of 21 encourages extreme behaviour in those aged 15-21 and treating it like the forbidden fruit of society is no way of solving issues that surround alcohol"

Again you are making another assumption based off of teenagers who drink because it is illegal. Well the age group 15-17 still would consider it illegal and "forbidden fruit." Except now they have their 18 year old friend is a senior to get them more alcohol than they could imagine.

I think we all can agree High schoolers are immature, irresponsible, and do stupid things. Now lets add the ability that once you become a senior and turn 18 you can now purchase (and distribute) if they want.

Now lets look at a little scenario here. You are 18 you need money for gas, upcoming college fees, clothes and/or misc. items. Hmm now some freshmen through juniors want some alcohol and you think to yourself "here is an opportunity to make some money" so you charge a price for buying it for them. 1. Imagine how much money a 18 year old could make to selling to underage kids. 2. You say they do these things because it is the "forbidden fruit" now imagine the ability to now sell the "forbidden fruit" to younger kids.

"the 21- to 24-year-old age group had the highest percentage of drivers in fatal crashes with blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .08 or higher " 35 percent."(2) this proves that newly aged drinkers were the most responsible for fatal accidents involving alcohol."

Now you are going to give it to them 3 years earlier you basically keep that same statistic but lower the age. that makes it no better than before so I find this completely pointless. Except I think we can all agree 21 year olds are a little more mature than 18 year olds.

"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".

Just because it did not decrease as much as countries who already had lower than 21 it still decreased greatly and save thousands of lives which I stated and provided a FACT for.

"76% of bars have sold alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons, and about half of drivers arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or killed as alcohol-involved drivers in traffic crashes did their drinking at licensed establishments. Neighborhoods with higher densities of bars, nightclubs, and other alcohol-selling locations suffer more frequent assaults and other violent crimes.(1)"

"A US district court ruled on Dec. 22, 1978 that MLDA 21 is "reasonably related to a state objective of reducing highway crashes," and that MLDA 21 withstands a constitutional challenge on three key legal issues: (1) drinking alcohol is not a "fundamental" right guaranteed by the Constitution, (2) age is not inherently a "suspect" criteria for discrimination (in contrast to race or ethnicity, for example) and (3) using the drinking age to prevent highway crashes has a "rational basis" in available scientific evidence.(1)"

Newly-legal drinkers often purchase alcohol for their underage peers, creating a "trickle-down" effect. Surveys show that the most common source of alcohol among 18- to 20-year olds is their 21- to 24-year-old peers. ["Youth Access to Alcohol," Alcohol Epidemiology Program at the University of Minnesota (accessed Mar. 22, 2012)](1)

"Every state sets its own age of majority that often corresponds with the age at which one can vote, join the military, serve in jury duty, sign contracts, marry, apply for loans, make decisions regarding medical treatments, and be prosecuted as an adult. Alabama (age 19), Mississippi (21), and Nebraska (age 19) are three states that have an "age of majority" above 18, although certain rights such as the right to vote remain at 18 in these states.(1)"

"As you can see below, of 19 health concerns, alcohol is ranked #3, and is greater than unsafe water, high blood pressure, tobacco, obesity and illicit drugs (ranked #18).

https://ncadd.org...
Figure: Global percentages of DALYs1 attributed to 19 leading risk factors by income group.
Source: Global Health Risks (2009) (2)"

"Lowering the drinking age in some European countries to 16,17, or 18 is inappropriate to the U.S. standards, because American teens start to drive at a very young age ,and drive more often that Europeans counties, and teens are more likely to drink under the influence of alcohol.(3)"

I believe these are enough facts for this round. Would you like to debunk or "prove" any of these wrong with actual facts besides your opinion and your lack of facts.

I'm asking you to use facts to support or too disprove me and my statements. So far I have been offered nothing but opinion and statements which are not backed.

(1)-http://drinkingage.procon.org...
(2)-https://ncadd.org...
(3)-http://www.teenink.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Slothisticated

Pro

Slothisticated forfeited this round.
Elijahhill97

Con

This is very disappointing to see that my opponent has forfeited. I was hoping to win by my arguments not by a forfeit.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
And drinking is even more serious. Let him get on his own, get his own place, pay his own bills, then at 21 if he is still foolish enough to drink, then make it legal.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
It should be raised back up to 21.An 18 year old does not have the kind of life experiences that will give him wisdom to vote. The only reason democrats dropped the voting age is they know that 18 year old people are easily persuaded with pie in the sky propaganda.And it has worked very well for them . They won many elections from that age group.

And if it were me, I would yank the privilege to vote the moment anyone got a government handout. being a government freeloader already says you are not responsible. Back in my day, welfare was far and inbetween. I did not know anyone on welfare. And I came from a poor background. But my mother would not take someone elses money by government force. She had honor. Which is a word I never hear today.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
SlothisticatedElijahhill97Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by dynamicduodebaters 2 years ago
dynamicduodebaters
SlothisticatedElijahhill97Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 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:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Even arguments until the FF