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

The Drinking Age of 21, should be lowered to 18.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,068 times Debate No: 15052
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)




I believe the drinking age of the United States should be set to 18 instead of where it rests now at 21 for many reasons.

1. With it set at 21 this restricts most people until their final year of college from being legally allowed to drink yet we all know from experience that this doesn't stop them from getting alcohol, or liquor.

2. If the age is lowered to 18, it could possibly end one of the most common threats now to current underage drinkers. Those beings binge- drinkers.

This would lower the frequency of it since now instead of having to worry about getting caught by police, only having limited time, etc., etc. Underage drinkers or would be of age drinkers if the age is lowered. Could not just walk into a seven eleven and grab a drink legally, or most likely go to a bar instead of hiding in on of their friend's car chugging a drink from a gas station, or seven eleven. It would also lower the rate of drunk driving by people in the age range of 18-21 since they now would not need to be on the constant move, they could center in one place, like a bar and have some drinks.

3. I feel it would also lower the drive for teens to drink underage. Since they would now just have to wait till their 18 instead of 21, as they currently are mandated to. For if one notice when they are given the privilege of drinking the drive to get drinks seems to sink, or even disappear as compared to what it used to be when they were younger. That is due to the fact there is no risk factor in it.


First of all, I thank my opponent for instigating such a debate. This is a topic I enjoy debating, and I am thankful to be on the Con stance.
So going on to the actual debate portion,

For maximum clarity, I will refute the Pro stance and then present a few points advocating the Con stance.

1. To every argument there must be claim/ warrant/ and impact. and while this argument my opponent is presenting here has all three of these essential components, they don't do much to prove that we should lower the legal drinking age. He is simply saying "they do it anyway, so let them do it" however it is not the most morally acceptable thing to do. If there where a spree of murders would we emphasize this laissez faire attitude? absolutely not!

so unless my opponent provides a better reason to advocate his stance, we must not accept it; we must preserve moral integrity, as it makes us human.

2. Here, my opponent is making the same exact argument in a new guise; now he's implying that we need to lower the drinking age to 18 simply "they're getting caught" if some-one close to you was consistently getting caught for doing something wrong, you would not just say, "Well legalize what they're doing so they wouldn't get in trouble" you would try and help them. the fact that these under-age drinkers are continuing to drink is not a sign that we need to just lower the drinking age, but it is a sign we must more closely enforce the laws regarding drink.

as for drunk driving; it will always happen, in fact if we give 18 year old's the ability to legally drink it will just raise the drunken driving rate. People will see that it's legal for them to drink (these people who are not yet fully developed mentally) and they after drinking, they'll drive anyway.

3. This is also a fallacy, it's a simple truth that Drinking is considered taboo. It's not something deemed very societally appropriate. humans are creatures of rebellion, and lowering the drinking age would only make the forbidden fruit more appetizing because these teenagers would see their friends who where only slightly older than them doing it, and they too would have this desire to consume alcohol.

there would be no change for the better; only change for the worse.

and so now that we see the Pro stance does not work, let's proceed to the Con's stance

for the sake of Character usage, I will not be sourcing my points with evidence. but if so requests I will post my sources in the comment section.

1. The brain is not fully developed until the ages of between 21 and 25-
Accordingly these young adults won't be able to drink responsibly, their having a buzz will prohibit proper self-control. I am not trying bash those younger than the age of 21, I fall under this category. I am simply saying that the human mind does not reach complete cognitive development until between these ages. so by allowing people younger than the age of 21 to drink alcohol, you ultimately doom them to make poor decision.

2. Newly legal adults need time to adapt and adjust to living on their own before being allowed such a vice into their lives-
This is true universally and can be applied to almost any situation, if all power is give to a person at once, they have no reason to practice self-control. In the United States, at the age of 18, people are considered adults. but not yet do they have the full rights of this title but in every step of human growth, we inch into the next level there are still many restrictions they must adhere. not to mention at the age of eighteen many people are still high school. by voting for the Pro, we allow our children to exposed to alcohol.

3. Alcohol kills brain cells which stunt mental development-
between ages 18-20 and even beyond that many adults go to college to better themselves, alcohol limits them, and lessens their potential. (I spoke briefly about this in my first point) and despite what my opponent would have you believe in his first point, college is not some huge party where every waking moment is flooding with alcohol. it's all a matter of who you surround yourself with. when I was in high school, I didn't drink. it wasn't even a problem. Now that I'm in college I can assure you, that avoiding alcohol hasn't been much of a problem here either.

and so the Conclusion, my Coup De Gras; we must look toward the Con stance. the Pro does not solve for any kind of issue by lowering the Legal Drinking age, nor does he provide any kind of moral reasoning for why it ought to be lowered. essentially he provides absolutely no reason for why you need to vote for the Him.

while on the inverse I show how lowering the Legal Drinking age would have an adverse affect on society. I talk about human development and show only a few of the many great implications that would come with Lowering the Legal Drinking Age.

With all of this in mind, in order to protect society you must vote for con.
I hand it back over to my opponent, here's to a wonderful debate!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, and yes hopefully it will be.

Now for the statements my opponent made that were made to essentially kill my argument.

1. My argument is not essentially "if there doing it anyway. Let them do it."
My argument is based off personal experiences, most minors i know who do commit the act of drinking underage. Only do so because of the risk factor and the rush it brings when they are drinking. My argument is that when these people become 21 and can legally drink they more or less lose to will to drink as much as they used to when they were younger. Thus leading directly into my second point If they lose their will to drink excessively it will cut down on the amount of binge drinking that goes on college campuses and even high schools.

So how can you argue a moral stance when i am arguing that lowering the age would cause the teenagers of today and tomorrow to live slightly better lives? Since they won't be going off to drink in a friend's car, or basement or even worse in some vacant lot.
For if the age was lowered to 18 those kids drinking on the corners or drinking in someone's car, or basement will now be able to go over to a bar and grab a drink.

I'm just going to skip into point three since i feel i adequately defend my first 2 points.

3. Though i can see your point on drinking becoming more of a tease to minors that are 16 and 17 i feel with the age being set to 18 it can cause some teens to wait till they are 18 before they drink. For it won't kill them to wait a year or two.

Now then onto the points you made for the con stance.

1. If the brain is not fully developed till anywhere between 21-25 then wouldn't it be safe to say we should also limit the exposure of young people to cigarettes, and anything else that can affect the way the brain develops? You state that young adults will not be able to handle themselves with drinking, i for one know i can i handle myself and if i ever decide to have drink i will not drink to get drunk as so many people i know do. I find that disgusting and only a portal to poor decisions. Which is why i feel that if the age is lowered to 18 the mindset of a minor who drinks will shift from "oh no when am i going to be able to drink again? or Oh no i hope i don't get caught!" To a simpler "hmm, i feel a buzz coming on, i think i will stop and maybe take another drink tomorrow, or maybe I'll wait for the weekend."

I've seen this occur in many friends of mine who turn 21 and go from heavy binge drinkers to quiet social drinkers. It's actually pretty funny to watch if you know people like that.

2. Sure those first few months of a young adults life will be hectic once there legally allowed to drink but once the "cool down" period begins or the time where they realize they don't need to buy 15 different drinks every night. They will slowly begin to calm down and become more of a social drinker. The facts of this have been proven worldwide; Look at the U.K. and Ireland. for example, in the U.K. i believe the age for drinking is 16, and for Ireland, i don't think they even have age, (Just joking of course) but in those two countries where drinking is very prevalent the young adults over there function sometimes better than the young adults over here who do not drink at all.

Onto the rights portion, how can you say a teenager at the age of 18 is allowed to die for their country but is not allowed to kick back and drink a cold one? Talk about a moral hypocrisy of our nation, honestly if you think about that, perhaps we should make the age of military service 21 instead of 18?

3. I feel you should have included this point with your first point. Though it is valid i strongly feel that though there will be a slight time when a person becomes 18 if the age is lowered of course that will result in a slight loss of brain cells, but again once that "cool down" period begins, it should at least slightly return to normal.
Oh and on the college thing, that point is dead on and i have to agree with you on that, it is not some huge party, and believe me i was in the same exact boat as you for HS, and now college, but i still stand by my point that lowering the age to 18 will have much more good associated with it then bad.

Now then, i believe the ball is in your court.


I thank m opponent for their response.
So just very swiftly, I will be extending the attacks I made that my opponent covered, I will be refuting the attacks my opponent made against the Con Case, and I will end with some analysis of this debate thus far.

1. I thank my opponent for providing a warrant (his personal experience), and I will now show how the warrant is false. First of all experience is completely subjective. we cannot evaluate this debate on anything personal, or on our own opinions. but we must provide either steady logic, or empirical fact. My opponent has done neither. and if you will remember I also gave my own "personal experience" showing this to be false. So even if you choose to look to simply personal experience, I have also had personal experience in regards to the topic. Essentially you have no reason to prefer my opponent over me in the ground

As for morality, you never show us HOW lowering the drinking age would lower fatalities in driving accidents. this is simply an unfounded Claim (i.e. still no warrant

My opponent has dropped my arguments here, so please simply extend them

3. Okay, I ask you all to simply re-read my opponent's refutation here. This statement only proves my point two-fold.
a. It will be (as pro said) a teas to older teens.
b. It won't kill them to wait, (In fact it'll keep them from killing themselves.


1. Okay, first off. I agree that we should set higher standards for smoking, drinking and even driving. That aside I believe even more fervently that taking away rights already guaranteed, with-out reason to do so; is constitutionally wrong. There is a grave difference between taking rights and giving rights. Also, I was never given the burden of proof to have to show that cigarettes are good. I concede that Cigarettes are bad. Don;t drink, don't smoke.

second, Cigarettes do not impair cognitive ability; they simply destroy lung tissue, and cause cancer. (which many minors can get any-way due to second hand smoke from their parents)

Now going onto my opponent's defense on the "buzz" argument. let's be frank here; life doesn't work like that. If we took such a liberal stance to lower the drinking age, what indicates that we would bother taking such a conservative stance to make sue these young adults didn't drink too much?

absolutely none.

(also there is nothing funny about watching a friend, or family member fall victim to alcoholism.)

2. First of all; in the current system young adults are given this "Cool-down-period" that being their time ages 18-20. why on earth would we throw everything on them at once. At eighteen, not only do they get the right to move out, and the responsibility to take care of themselves but we're going to throw drinking into the mix as well? I say we reject this faulty Ideal

also as for the claim about the UK, This is an evidence based attack, which he provides no evidence for. we have absolutely no reason to believe this. according don't! unless my opponent provides proof before his next speech is concluded do not listen to this point.

As for the military; first while this is incredibly off topic, I will cover it all the same. Joining the military is something person does because of a deep moral conviction to pretend their country. I won't sugar coat it, our soldiers die every single day, and they do this by choice, they love their country and their freedoms; such as the ability of the free speech my opponent is exercising to bash our service men and women.
Whereas drinking, is only a very selfish activity to stimulate one's own personal pleasure. there is no morality at play here.

3. Since my opponent has extended his attack, I extend my defense.

As for the "college thing" this really does nothing to prove his point, but I am glad we can agree on this, that said he has no warrant to prove that lowering the age will do more good than bad, at least not in regards to all prior arguments made in this debate.

so in closing, My opponent still has not accurately proven that the drinking age should be lowered nor has he dis-proven my stance; whereas I have both shown the logical and empirical fallacies in my opponent's and provided extensive logically backed reasons why lowering the drinking age would be detrimental. so for all of these reasons, you must Vote Con in this debate!

Go for it Pro.
Debate Round No. 2


I suppose this is one of you buzzer arguments, you know one you may have been looking for. But back onto to the topic now.

I suppose ill follow the little format that has been set and tackle each point.
1. I suppose you could make a stand for this point since we happen to have varying points of personal experience with the matter at hand here. Yet i did not intend for them to be the pinnacle point of this argument for this point in it anyway, i simply stating more or less a personal fact that has occurred in my experience over time. It was more or less to get this debate going. You are also correct in saying that i cannot physically show you that lowering the age would cut down on the amount of fatalities of drunken driving accidents for minors or anyone under the age of 21. The same statement can be made but in the form that there is less drunk driving accidents with the age limit where it is now. Also for the point i was getting at initially here was that i feel that there would be less drunk minors or if the age is lowered less drinkers on the road since they would potentially be at a bar, but i digress and will move on.

3a. I said it may act as a tease to them, not that it will indefinitely be one.

3b. So are you suggesting that all underage minors who go out and drink and peoples who become of age to drink will run out and drink until their in a coma? I find that to be a bit offensive, also i feel that is a very traditional way of looking at this matter.

1a. Which right are you talking about in the part "That aside I believe even more fervently that taking away rights already guaranteed, with-out reason to do so; is constitutionally wrong." Would that be the right where minors (yes i consider 19 to still be a minor since you do not have full access to life yet) can knowingly buy substances that will eventually lead to their deaths? For i find that to be a bit of a hypocrisy considering that the same right that you are stating should be saved for those that are 21, though it could kill it could not do as much physical damage to one's body unless the person had a drink with every meal, and in between every meal for every day, or consumed about as much alcohol as they do now, since they cannot simply save some and come back to it later, as it is illegal, and would hence have them land in trouble.

1b. I'm not suggesting that we give these kids or teens the right to drink as much alcohol as they would like whenever they would like once they turn 18, i am saying we should give them that right and let them use their own choice making in it. if they are as stupid enough to drink themselves to death because they do not realize that would then have the right to drink whenever, then fine. The point of my argument is that if we lower the age we can add the responsibilities that come with it in a hope of lowering the binge drinking and all the excess drinking that goes on now, for as you said there is no fun in watching someone become an alcoholic, or fall to alcoholism. Actually that did strike a cord with me. if you were referring to part where i mentioned watching a binge drinker turn into a social drinker, i meant watching a person who would drink enough alcohol/liquor to kill a man turn into a person who instead prefers a beer with friends at a bar watching a game or something.

2a. That cool down period i was talking about was the realization a person has when they become aware that a right that they thought was once forbidden is now accessible whenever they need. The cool down period you're talking about is those final few years where you have to essentially become an adult but in some forms are still treated as a child.

2b. Fair enough, sadly i cannot find any evidence that shows exactly what i am looking for when i made that point. Though there is plenty of information on drunk driving in the U.K. and U.S. i am only finding things to broad. So i will drop this point for now.

2c. Let me ask you something where oh where did you get bashing our service men and women out of my points? I will not even go into this topic, or we may end up completely off topic.

3. I believe i have been making points all though out my argument. Those being that lowering the drinking age will keep minors off street corners drinking but rather have them in bars. Which would do a lot more good then it seems, it would HAVE the potential to lower crimes usually fueled by alcohol, it COULD lower drunken driving accidents, not to say that it would but it MIGHT. It would also definitely cut down on binge drinking which is probably one of the biggest risks to high school and college students right now.

Also with all due respect to my opponent, please check your grammar, though i was able to read it fine, there were a lot of grammatical errors in your previous response. Now then, back to you.


So first off, I thank my opponent for such a fun debate. I look forward to future debates!

Now for maximum clarity, I will review the debate and show how I've won.
(also thanks for structuring your arguments Pro)

1. At this point, we can understand that neither of our "personal experiances" will hold any weight in this debate, so this point completely drops for both sides.

as for the drunk driving, my opponent also concedes that he cannot prove it, and ends with simply stating "he feels there would be less drunk drivers on the roads, because all the minors would be at the bars." Well that's nice and all, but the bars have to close some-time, so this proves my point entirely. Lowering the the Drinking age will lead to massive increases in drunken driving.

2. Still Dropped

3a. If there is even a small chance there could be a tease to these minors, then not only does it make you point completely lose all validity, but even a 1% chance is too much risk. Following the the Pro logic, this will eventually lead to a complete collapse of all our society's morality.
3b. No, of course that's not what I'm saying. some may just die altogether! this is a ridiculous defense to a ridiculous attack. Of course there will be more drunk driver if there are more people drinking.

1a. Despite what you consider minors, the law recognizes a person of 18 years of age to be an adult. There is no hypocrisy here, as I said before; Ciggarettes do not impare cognative ability. while I agree (as I already have) ciggarettes are very much so bad for you, they won't cause people to drive drunk, or spend their entire pay check on ciggarettes instead of food, and necessities.

(also again, I was never give a burden to have to prove cigarettes as good)

1b. I ask you to please re-read what My opponent said here. go ahead I'l wait... you see he only proves my point. there can be no good in lowering the drinking age. The ONLY benefit would be for the Alcohol industries as they would get more money out of it. Society as whole would detriment and suffer.

2a. I'll just extend my last refutation on this point, it sufices to prove my point completely.

2b. My opponet drops this point.

2c. My opponent questions how I claim he's bashing our men and women in uniform, however this confusion is completely unfounded- he continually refers to 18 year olds joining the military, as "throwing away their lives". secondly he's right this is off topic.

3. Now here, my opponent claims he's already made the points that the refutation here should be obvious, he claims that having the minors in bars would be better than the street (which is completely ridiculous). and that it could potentially lower crimes (this means nothing as anything could potentially lower or heighten anything). H ealso claims finally he claims that this would substantially lower the level of Binge drinking among college students. two points here, we have already conceded that college binge drinking is not much of a problem in the first place, and secondly no; as it will just heighten binge drinking in people ages 18-20,

In conclusion, the vote must go to me. I have proven through both my opponent's mpoints and my own- that not good can possibly come from loweing the drinking age.

(also I'm sorry if my grammer is poor, but I feel I've gotten my point across well enough without it. so I ask this not be a voting issue.)
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Rumsy 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: At the request of Con, I gave s/g as a tie because I felt they both used adequate amounts of grammar to convey their arguments. They both conducted themselves quite well being respectable to each other to the highest extent while still opposing one another. I felt Con made a more convincing argument, although neither side properly used sources and it was all rather speculative.
Vote Placed by TUF 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:14 
Reasons for voting decision: I didn't really like the Pro's second contention, as I don't even really see that as a problem people face. Third contention didn't make sense either, How would lowering the age make the driving for teens to drink any lower? Found no flaws with the Con's case, other than the grammar which was already pointed out.