The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered To 18.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,924 times Debate No: 23175
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)




Acceptance: r1
Reb: r3
Debate Round No. 1


1. The idea a person at the age of 18 can smoke cancer sticks, vote, join the military, and become legally there own person, but can't drink is idiotic. Why must we limit alcohol? Why because we have an obligation to discourage drug use? then why is smoking legal? So the question still remains why? Is it because they are not responsible enough? Then why do they have the right to vote and change the future of a country, why do they have the right to join the military and put there life on the line for there country? So why? I'll tell you why, because people have it in there heads that its alcohol's fault for wrecks and bad behavior. Id argue that happens with 21 year olds, Id also argue that responsibility does not come with age is comes with the person. 21 year olds can be idiots just like 18 year olds , even 40 year olds and so on. The national fear of "underage drinking" is paranoia at best. There is no logical reason 18 year olds can't drink, none.


R2 is for case, so I will just post my case.

1. The higher drinking age saves lives

We must ask, why does the higher drinking age aid society? Or does it have a bad or no effect. Many studies conclude 20,000 lives are saved from a higher (21) drinking age, and all due to the 21 drinking age. [1]

"Drunk-driving crashes have been on the decline, and one reason for this is the drinking age. According to a new study conduced by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), the law that implemented a national uniform drinking age of 21 contributed to a declining percentage of alcohol-related teen traffic deaths. The study notes an 11 percent drop in these traffic deaths. " [2]

"New Zealand recently lowered the drinking age based on many of the same arguments advanced by the Amethyst Initiative. The result was more alcohol-involved traffic crashes and emergency room visits among 15- to 19-year-olds. New Zealand is now considering raising its drinking age. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that setting the drinking age at 21 saves the lives of 900 young people each year and has saved more than 25,000 lives since 1975." [3]

"Congress mandated in 1984 that states establish 21 as the drinking age in return for federal highway funding. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the 21 drinking age has reduced traffic fatalities involving drivers 18 to 20 years old by 13 percent and saves approximately 900 lives a year. Overall, the number of U.S. teenagers involved in fatal drunk-driving accidents has declined 11 percent because of laws that raised the legal drinking age to 21." [4]

Sorry for quoting, just am tired and the quotes do it for me :P Here are a few facts:
  • Lower drinkign age in Arizona lead to a a 25% more of a chance of a fatal car accicent and 35% chance of traffic fatalities [6]
  • Lowering drinking age in massechuses lead to increased fatalities [4]
  • In areas with a lower drinking age there was a 9% higher suicide rate linked to alcohol [4]

2. The younger you drink the worse problems you encounter
  • 4 more time likely to get alcoholism and 2 times more likely to get addicted to those age 21 (18-12 comparison) [5]
  • 12 times more likely to ge tinjured while using alcohol [4]
  • 7 times more likley to get in a car crash while younger and drunk compared to 21 year olds. [4]
  • 10 times more likely to get into a fight while drinking. [4]

Further, the younger people begin to drink also may be linked to other illicit drug usages, as many studies showt the younger you drink the more likley you are to get involved with other harmful substances, many illegal. [4]

Further, this applies as many are getting pregnant earlier, that the alcoholism and alcohol use when youngr has a higher chance of harming the bayby the person has. [4] So it not only harms them and their freinds, but maybe unborn people.

Now, lets look at how it effect the youth. As stated, they are at increased risk for death, yes death, the lower the age they drink. [7] "Research has also shown that youth who use alcohol before age 15 are five times more likely to become alcohol dependent than adults who begin drinking at age 21. Other consequences of youth alcohol use include increased risky sexual behaviors, poor school performance, and increased risk of suicide and homicide." [7]

I showed lower suidide rates for states with higher drinking ages, so we can assume there is lower users (my next point).

This point is done, youths are not fully deveoped and a lower drinkign age would hurt them.

3. Lowers Users

We can see in 1977, drinking age 18, then in the 80s when states raised to 21 users declined. Also, making it illegal for minors to have alcohol creates a detterent effect.


  • Younger people that use drugs face more of a chance of alcohol abuse [8]
  • Younger people that do alcohol are more likely to do drugs and commit crime
  • Higher rinkign age lowers DWI Arrests
  • A higher drinking age lowers users
  • Lower drinking age kills people by traffic fatalities and crime
  • Higher age lowers traffic fatalities and suicide + crime


See summary, then add the vote PRO and a higher drinking age is better.

[4] "Lower the Drinking Age?" Minnesota health department, p1, research papers, accessed: 21
[5] National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey. Journal of Substance Abuse, 1998.
[6] Arizona Department of Public Safety, "An Impact Assessment of Arizona's Lowered Legal Drinking Age
and a Review of Previous Research," Statistical Center, 1981.
Debate Round No. 2


First point is none of my points where attacked, no defense against responsiblity attack, no defense against the fact that we can smoke and kill ourselves but not drink. No defense against why we can join the military and not drink or vote.

second, is his case says its saves more lives..... his statistics say they decrease accidents, my argument to that is of course they have fewer accidents because more people would be allowed to drink. That has no bearing on the actual reason why its limited to 18 year olds. Why you might ask is because we as adults should have that right, the idea that we can drink but smoke our lives away is idiotic, as well as hypocritical. also seeing how the 18 year olds in your statistics for "saved lives" will probably just die when they are 21. Your really only slowing it down.

third. To your entire point 2 , yes and smoking kills and hinders me too but I can buy those right now Im 18 whats your point?

forth: Dude of course they declined its kinda hard to drink when its illegal for you to buy it. They surveyed graduating seniors some of them probably weren't old enough to even smoke. Plus thats kinda out of date since it stops on the year I WAS BORN. 1993. Just like really? you call that proof?

conclusion: there is no real reason to stop 18 year olds from drinking, it doesn't save lives because when they turn 21 they will drink then and get in an accident it only delays the problem. His point 2 makes no sense seeing how we can smoke at 18 and smoking stunts growth and development as well. Also it doesn't stop drinkers as you can see in my arguement the graph is a survey, from seniors who were graduating high school. If its illegal to buy them Im sure seniors will drink less cause its hard to obtain also some people lie in surveys. therefore you must vote pro.


**Note my opponent is claiming I needed to attack his arguments, but his format forbid that, his accusations against his own rule are false. Therefore my arguments this round are just.

R1: 18, freedom, lets drink

This assumption is highly faulty. It also fails to look into other changes. People drive from 15-18 in america (majority say 16). You must be 35 to run for president, rent a car at 25. Your argument has many failed assumptions, and under the same logic we might see an 18 year old president. You must also look at the states interest, in Louisiana:

"...statutes establishing the minimum drinking age at a higher level than the age of majority are not arbitrary because they substantially further the appropriate governmental purpose of improving highway safety, and thus are constitutional." [1]

So based on governments interest there is no reason to lower the drinking age. Further, his argument fails to look into laws itself. If his argument where correct, murder, rape, robbery would all be legal because its "deadly" like smoking. So before using his failed logic we have to look into the reason for these laws. One of the main reasons is the children's health, the brain is not fully developed. That happens in the mud twenties. [2] So my opponents argument also does not work, as you must look into:
1) States interests,
2) Reasons for the law.

The answers are:
1) Saving lives (see above)
2) to protect young people, save lives, decrease users.

As my opponents argument fails to look into laws (the reasons listed) his argument is invalid in a legal war.



C1: Saves lives

My opponent essentially concedes the point, until the end. You say "slowing it down", but that makes no statistical nor neurological sense. When the alcohol age is higher, you are twice times less likely (did that make sense?) to become a binge drinker. And, as stated, his argunemnt does not work with stats. So 21 year olds in general less likely to get into the same trouble as 18 year olds with alcohol. [3] So there is no statistical or factual "slow down" effect.

*States with higher drinking ages generally mean less youth and overall users.
*10-12 graders in areas with lower drinking ages drank significantly more then states with higher drinking ages.
*The younger you drink the more likely you will drink to drunkeness in college (no slow down effect, basic nuerology, younger = *more likley to die etc. Older = less likely)
*Behavior of 18 year olds has large effects on younger teens, so a lower drinking age means more users.



-Lower drinking age = 11% increase in DWI fatalities
-Lower drinking age = 25% increase and 25% increase in DWI deaths in Arizona
-Lower drinking age = 35% increase in crashes, 17% increase in car deaths for men: Michiagan
-Lower drinking age = 141% increase in DWI arrests

No "slow down effect". It saves lives, period.
And more:
"It is difficult to deny that the 21 year-old drinking age law is effective in reducing underage drinking and its many associated problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates more than 25,000 lives have been saved since the 21 year-old drinking age law became uniform among states in the 1980s. Additionally, in looking at more than 50 peer-reviewed studies of countries that lowered the legal drinking age to 18, the Centers for Disease Control found fatalities increased in those nations by 10 percent." [4]

saves lives, my opponents argunment does not work.

C2: Less problems

Your point is irrelevant, as I support a higer smoking age for this ^ reason. It also fails to compare the point. ou dont refute it, you concede it. Drinking whilst younger is very bad. I count your argunment as an FF, the states interest is to save lives with this law[1], worse problems = more lives lost. Its the states interest to not lower the age, hence your argunment fails.

C3: Lowers users

You FF the argunment sayign of course its harder to get.

Yoru only criticism is hen the graph stops, so here: (graphs aren't posting, it goes through 2010, only decreases in users)

"student data" starts right before we switched to 21, we see a decrase, hence the age saves lives. Your concession of the argunment and this graph prove my point.

I win the point.


MY opponent conceded most of c1, dodgs c2, and concedes c3 and only criticises the graph. The drinkign age:

Saves lives
Lowers users
And prevents youths from gettign worse alcohol problems.

Dont raise the drinking age, its the states interests from these 3 points to keep it high, so keep the minimumw age 21, Vote CON

[1] Manuel v State of Louisiana, 1996.
[2] "Lower the Drinking Age?" Minnesota health department, dept. of health, research papers
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by miketheman1200 6 years ago
whoops forgot i refreshed the page -__-
Posted by thejmanjman 6 years ago
My voting comment should have read: Opinions (Pro) vs. Opinions + Facts (Con)
Posted by joshuaXlawyer 6 years ago
Im from the U.S
Posted by d1a6r7s1h9i9t8 6 years ago
Guys when u r debating plz mention the country
Many countries already have their drinking age lowered to 18 like Australia
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
I wanna accept...... This is the last one I accept for 2 weeks
Posted by dan564891 6 years ago
I can only assume you are speaking for the USA, since almost everywhere else it is already 18. Good luck with the debate and I hope you win !!
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Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: fail spel fail lol
Vote Placed by miketheman1200 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Opinions (Pro) vs. Opinions facts (Con).
Vote Placed by RyozoTabikashi 6 years ago
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