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

The USA should lower the drinking age to 13 to promote more responisible drinking

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 476 times Debate No: 84442
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)




First round is simply for acceptance.

I will now state some information to intrinsically clarify the round.

Reason why this topic: I had this topic for a debate in congress and a lot of people actually believed in this. Also a friend yesterday told me how this would work so I am curious to hear more on it.

Definition: Drinking=of or relating to the act of drinking of alcohol

So yeah pretty much anything included in the restriction to not drink until your 18+ in the USA is topical for this round. Anything that isn't included like water for example or lemonade isn't topical. WE are debating about the "grown up" kind of drinking.


I accept this debate.

I am not 100% infavor of 13, but I do agree that 21 is too old in the US for a legal drink. So I would like to debate this subject.

If my opponent would accept I would like to argue on 18 or no age restrictions, however, I am not against arguing the position of 13 as I am agreeing to do. Just a 1 sentence in the start of round 2 clarifying the age you would like to continue with :) I know you wrote 13, but just thinking outside the box - maybe something that you have not prepped for yet and tested your positions...

13, 18, or no age limit :)

In any event, alcohol is a naturally occurring substance in the world. consumption of which under 18 years of age should be monitored by parents and guardians and not the Federal Government. Any argument that attempts to pose limits on sale and consumption based on any study of safety is sliding down the path of the 18th amendment towards prohibition.

Prohibition did not limit remove do what it proposed, just as the current 21 year old restirction does not prevent those younger from obtaining alcohol. The only reason 21 is enforced is because the states receive highway funding for this age.

The age of majority is 18 for every other aspect of American life. If such restrictions should be placed on citizens by the Federal government, then it should be congruent throughout. One can vote at 18, go to war at 18, fight for everything that is American, but cannot come home to have beer?

Age restrictions from the Federal government should be 18 or none at all. But I can argue 13 as well.
Debate Round No. 1


I don't accept the request to debate about lowering the age of drinking to 18 for the following reasons.

1. I prefer debating topics that I am very one sided on or bias about or that I simply prefer to argue one side about. The reason being is because sometimes someone is able to convey me to realize the other side is better and it actually helps me be more open minded

The topic about lowering the drinking age is anything but one sided. There are good arguments both sides in fact when I debated this topic there was almost always an even number of people who would debate each side. Sure that allows for good clash and I enjoy clash debates however on this topic I am not looking for that.

IF someone wants to face me on a topic that is good both sides and has clash then go for the Love debate I have open or the War on Drugs or the sulfate topic. Those are not one sided just like the 18 year old one.

2.. I have debated lowering the drinking age to 18 multiple times so I know enough about it.

3. I actually am fine with lowering the drinking age to 18. I don't drink myself even though I am 18 and it's against my religion but I would be fine with the lowered drinking age simply because most people in the USA start drinking around 17-18 anyway and the rule of not drinking until 21 isn't even enforced well.

4. THe resolution= people would be confused and critique the debate if we debated outside the resolution. Also if you allowed to change the resolution then I could through the round and it wouldn't be stable. A resolution must be strong and upholder if you rather would have wanted t debate age 18 I would have liked it if you suggested it in comments and I would have made another debate and waited or someone else to debate on this topic.

Conclusion: WE will uphold the resolution and keep debating this topic.

Now my Case/Argument

Intro: Lowering the Drinking Age to maybe 18 in America could be affective, thus the idea of lowering drinking itself isn't what I am generally against today, The reason why I am negatives because I believe it would be inimical to lower the drinking age to 13 especially in the American society.

Contention 1. Why underage drinking wouldn't work in America and why it works elsewhere
The problem is in America drinking is considered a rather aggressive activity, in fact music and the culture in general show drinking to be a wild activity for a wild time.

COntention 2: why drinking is inimical to 13 year olds
Furthermore according to the part of the brain is fully developed is actually at the age of 20, in a way this explains drinking accidents occurred amount people 20 and below but furthermore this proves another thing. When you are 13 years old your brain basically isn't even close to being fully developed thus the danger to you drinking is far worse then at any other age.

He brings up 1 argument that is relatable to drinking at 13 and that is the fact that the law to not drink at 21 does not prevent younger people from obtaining acholhal. I agree to this but only to a certain extent.

First of all there isn't a way to 100% prevent anyone from getting anything unless the government had the power to put cameras in our homes which will never happen anytime soon at least.
I agree 17 year olds and older can easily get these beverages. The reason why 17+ year olds have no problem is because they are driving and some even pass off for 18 at this age. Also society considers drinking at 18 more normal and acceptable and its hard to enforce a law properly when society is fine with underage drinking. If you don't decrease demand or persuade people to a cause hat cause will not work in a democratic based government that fuels off the people.

13 years old on the other hand is another story. The American society itself sees 13 year olds or 14 year olds drinking as disgusting. Also 13 year olds can't drive and it's more obvious that thy are not 18 since a lot re just entering puberty and such at this age and therefore cannot pass off for an older age like 18.

The prohibition isn't able to keep the drinking age to 21 however its able to keep people drinking no more then 4 years below the proposed limit of 21. Therefore this prohibition at least works to prevent people as young as 13 or like 11 from drinking.

Lastly of course a parent can give a kid a drink but again I mentioned the camera thing. The government can't monitor all the houses. Some things will slip of course. The prohibition obviously wasn't made to monitor drinking in homes this s a democracy not a Tolitarion form of government.

I have more arguments but they are mostly responses to 13 year old arguments which my opponent hasn't really provided yet since he was trying to change the resolution. I am awaiting his case specific to the resolution.


To my opponent. I accept your reasons and I appreciate your consideration and rationale. You gave more response than was necessary. I did not need a long winded answer, I know space is limited in these debates. I hope this did not adversely affect your ability to present you position.

1. My opponent feels the US population is unable to handle drinking at a younger age. However for his specific point offers nothing but an opinion. The truth is underage drinking occurs regardless of the legality. My opponents assertion is that the legality prevents adolescents from obtaining alcohol, however his own round 2 discussion disqualifies is own assertion as he correctly points out there is no correlation between the legal age of drinking and the fact of underage consumption. There is no statistic specific to 13 years, however according to the CDC 11% of all alcohol is consumed in the US is by people aged 12-20. And about 1 in 4 8th graders (which is the closest I can find to 13 years old) have consumed alcohol beverages.

Despite the current laws, they aren"t working and adolescents are consuming alcohol. The only thing the current law does is create criminal and does nothing to alter the consumption of alcohol. .

3. The burden is my opponents to prove his assertion that early exposure for youths to alcohol consumption will not promote a more responsible environment. For my opponent to prove his assertion, he must demonstrate raising the age of alcohol will have a positive correlation in reducing youth alcohol consumption. Does my opponent believe that raising the age to 25 or a prohibition will promote more responsible drinking? If my opponent cannot prove that increasing the age of legal alcohol consumption will promote more responsible drinking, how can he possibly believe or demonstrate that lowering it will result in less responsible drinking?

4.My position is alcohol consumption occurs already, and by teaching responsibility, by changing the paradigm and the "rebellious" nature of underage drinking, will remove the "cool" stigma and lead to a reduction in alcohol consumption among youth. When alcohol is legal go offer younger people, families will feel more comfortable with allowing youth to consume alcohol and not fear legal problems. As parents share in a glass of wine, or beer this teaches the youth responsibility in how to handle alcohol. The parent has the opportunity to say to his child, you have had enough and discuss the responsibility the same way one learns how to drive.

5. One does not turn 17 and suddenly is given the keys to a car. There is a period of time where the parent is in the car, observing, talking, and teaching about the responsibilities of driving. The same is true about lower drinking ages as it allows for the opportunity to teach Responsibility. Responsibility is the point of my opponents debate. The current paradigm forces youth who drink to do so without supervision which allows them only the peer pressure as a measure of guidance. Or those who wait until they are 21, again do so without supervision and tend to start that 21st birthday off with in a drunken stupor.

6.My opponent makes a very valid claim about the adolescent brain development not being complete and exposure to alcohol at a young age does increase risks of other systemic problems including addiction. However, caffeine and video games are even more prone to effect the developing brain. In one study caffeine increased depression and addiction. It was claimed to be a gateway drug to other stimulats. Video games are annually claimed to have a negative effect on the developing psyche of a child. Youth who listen to rap music are 250% more likely to be arrested and 300% more likely to be violent towards a teacher. The question is, is it the place of the government to regulate all these things to protect children? If we are going to teach responsibility " my opponents assertion - that happens at younger ages not waiting till 21 and allowing the binge to start.

7. My opponent is unable to find a single study providing even a casual correlation to the legal drinking age, and rates of alcohol fatalities or addiction. If there was such a study showing such a link to the legal drinking age and addiction or fatalities, my opponent would have highlighted this as a main point in his argument had one existed. The problem with alcohol in the US is attitudes. Alcohol becomes a right of passage. My incorporating more into every day life and removing the stigma attached to it, many of today"s alcohol related problems would be lessened.
Debate Round No. 2


Clarification of the round
1.First of my opponent doesn't realize that in debate you are trying to talk to whoevers voting for you.
2. The job of the first person debating is to state an argument relating to the topic that I would respond too and he failed to do so. I decided since he provided an opinion based off topic argument I would simply provide a layout of my argument.
I win the round anyway
He claims his Case he provided in round 2 is for both 13 year olds and 18 year olds but its specific to 18 year old drinking thus his case falls since he doesn't prove the resolution. Round 2 is for stating your case and his case didn't prove the resolution thus I win the debate anyway.

I will extend my contentions and attack his claims
Contention 1. Why underage drinking wouldn't work
HE claims this is purely opinion based but its not. It's a philosophical argument not an opinion and in a sense its common sense. Also his whole case he provides in contention 2 is mostly opinion based so I don't see why he would be upset by a structure he himself utilizes to present his not topical case.

1.Underage working will not work in America for many reasons.
We can look to a statement that explains drinking practices in certain geographical locations. On the database makes the following statement. "In terms of everyday transitions, cultures (such as the US and UK) where drinking is associated with recreation and irresponsibility, tend to have higher levels of alcohol-related problems. " In societies with an ambivalent, morally charged relationship with alcohol (such as the UK, US, Australia), "celebration" is used as an excuse for drinking." Drinking in other countries drinking is shown to be like this "Societies in which alcohol is traditionally an accepted, unremarkable and morally neutral element of everyday life - such as the Southern European cultures of Italy, Spain, and Greece - tend to favor "uninhibited", highly visible drinking-places, with large windows and open spaces, such that customers are clearly displayed. Even where the climate does not allow permanent outdoor tables, a glassed-in pavement section is common. The drinking-place extends physically into the environment, overlaps and merges with the everyday world, just as "the consumption of alcohol is [as] integrated into common behaviors as sleeping or eating. Also what we Americans call "clubs" is different in those countries. In our country clubs are wild and full of crazy activities. If you go to a high school party you know what I mean. In other countries they have meeting areas where young teens specifically drink in a organized calm matter. Drinking is a normal non-extreme activity that isn't seen as intrinsic to moral character or intrinsic to an individual. Also drinking like this has been done in those countries for generations. It's an established tradition not a recently formed activity. Its common sense that it will take a lot for Americans to ever view drinking as a common activity like sleeping or eating.

Next we must define tradition

tradition=a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time- Merriam Webster

The reason why this information is so intrinsic because this ends his contention 5 and contention 4. HE states that we must expose 13 year olds to drinking so they can get used to it however traditions can take decades sometimes centuries to change as shown on Just like his analogy on learning to drive this would take time... and way more time then learning to drive. This article states that adolescents lack the ability to judge how much the should drink. Letting 13 year olds drink is not worth it as stated in the same database "lack of concentration motivation, and missed assignments are signs of drug abuse, this leads to drop outs. Also the brain is undergoing transformation around this age as shown in the article I presented above and the article even states that no amount of drinking is safe for 13 year olds. The fact that substance abuse among 13 year olds leads to drop outs leads into an article done here that shows the lost possible income from a student dropping out of school. Alcohol consumption on a mass scale by 13 year olds will have drastic affects. Furthermore no major politicians are proposing to lower the drinking age to 13 because they realize this method will not work. My opponent doesn't prove that such a drastic policy will even be able to be passed and utilized in the American society. The only reason this method of lowering drinking to 13-15 or so works in other countries is because its tradition that has been established for generations. That raises a question for my opponent, "how can you change the way society as a whole views drinking?" He hasn't shown this in his case at all. He has no solvency or proof of implementation. Viewers he fails to show us how he will effectually implement and insert a new detrimental drinking policy in America in a short time frame before the negative affects hit 13 year olds and increase drop out rates and unemployment rates in America. This makes his contention 2 go against him "11% of all alcohol is consumed in the US is by people aged 12-20. And about 1 in 4 8th graders (which is the closest I can find to 13 years old) have consumed alcohol beverages." The fact that this many are drinking is already reflecting on drop out rates across America. But there's another problem with this statistic he admits it has its faults. He states himself "this isn't specific to 13 year olds" he assumes this isn't' important but it is since 13 year is a very complex hormonal state for many individuals. Its a fragile stage for the brain as well as shown on Not a good age to drink, and passing a policy to legalize drinking for 13 year olds will increase this 1 out of 4 statistic to 3 out of 4 in no time. But furthermore I looked this study up and and it didn't show whether it was conducted in mid class areas, rich, or poor. This is important because in a study done over single sex education published from 1968 to 2013 with a sample of 1,663,662 participants across 23 countries it shows how many studies done over single sex are skewed. It showed how the studies to prove the benefits of education were not done in poor areas to improve credibility. To explain this further where I went middle school in a middle class area drinking wasn't an issue, however my Uncle taught in a poor area in Houston in HISD where 13 year olds getting pregnant was normal. He doesn't show that this statistic isn't just like the beauro statistic that 1 out of 3 black people go to jail. Mostly applies to poor areas.

His contention 6 just gives me the burden of provide empirics and I did that already the same article shows that of adults who started drinking before 15 40% develop alcohol dependence as well. It's pretty much impossible to compare empirics for not drinking at 13 to ludicrous opinions/theories for video games leading to violent activities.

His biggest argument is his only contention left #7 and his main argument which I almost failed to address which would have led to a lose for me in the round. I fail to prove that the drinking prohibition works. Man if only my opponent competed in debate. I only have to disprove the resolution. The pro has the burden of solvency. To make it simple I just have to prove the resolution is wrong. I don't have to provide a solution to replace the proposed policy/solution I just have to prove its illegitimate or attack "USA should lower drinking age to 13."

Also for a second forget everything I said and just consider the concept. 13 year olds drinking? That's ludicrous!!


1.I will not get into a back and forth. On something so stupid. I accepted in round 1 and offered an alternative if he wanted. He chose no alternative. OK. Move on.

2. My opponent accused me of using data supporting 18 year olds. As I wrote in round 2, According to the CDC 1 in 4 8th graders have consumed alcohol. If my opponent is correct that 8th grade is not always specific to 13 years old because various ages can be in that grade (mostly will be 13 at some point in 8th grade). However, to equate that with 18 year olds in the 8th grade is disingenuous, unless, if those are his observations. If so, I suggest he move to another neighborhood.

3. Can my opponent show how raising the legal age to consume alcohol will equate to more responsible drinking statistics? If not, then we must consider a new paradigm if we want to change the course of alcoholism in the US. We must consider not criminalizing parents who want to teach their children how to drink responsibly. We must remove the moral dilemma parents are faced with - teaching your child how to drink responsibly while teaching them it is OK to break the law. We must allow an opportunity for them to acquire the responsible social drinking skill set under direct supervision of the parents before they are left unattended in the presence of alcohol and peer pressure.

4. As my opponent correctly points out, "The only reason this method of lowering drinking to 13-15 or so works in other countries is because its tradition that has been established for generations" the consumption of alcohol is [as] integrated into common behaviors as sleeping or eating" Its common sense that it will take a lot [time] for Americans to ever view drinking as a common activity like sleeping or eating. "

His own position is a direct representation of the paradigm I have suggested. He finds the reasonable conclusion of having 13 year olds drinking can promote socially responsible drinking. And in this debate as outlined by my opponent, there is no referenced timeline for the realization of this responsibly to occur. I could not have written it more clearly " thank you. I agree with your assertion that commons sense dictates it will take time for the paradigm shift to occur is correct. Time and lives are valuable which is why we need to start lowering the age to legally drink alcohol to 13 sooner rather than later. I accept your position. There is little left for me to debate since my opponent has met the same conclusion I have.

Reducing the age of alcohol consumption will result in improved social responsible drinking.


Below this line is for those who still need a more compelling argument than my opponents acceptace, or for my opponent who stated in round 1 that this question is an exercise in academics. These are valuable points that may help him refine his position in future debates.

5. My opponent makes an interesting claim: Viewers he fails to show us how he will effectually implement and insert a new detrimental drinking policy in America
That was not the point of this debate. The general thesis of this debate was if lowering the age of alcohol consumption will equate to more responsible drinking. If you cannot read the above #4 and conclude it is a more responsible approach to teach youth about alcohol, with alcohol than the current paradigm, vote for my opponent. However if you feel there is any benefit in allowing a parent to legally consume alcohol with his or her child, to teach them how to drink responsibly, then that is the only point I need to really make in this debate.

If you are still not convinced, please continue reading, however below are thoughts for my opponent to consider since this is an academic exercise for him as he explained in round 1.
One must consider the moral dilemma The current law creates for a parent. How can a parent teach a child how to drink responsibly while also teaching them breaking the law is OK? We teach our young people everything we want them to do in a responsible manner through direct supervision.
Should the paradigm change and allow for 13 year olds to legally consume alcohol, this will provide the opportunity for parents to teach their children socially responsible drinking skills. As my opponent has provided as evidence, this type of mindset of decriminalizing alcohol consumption by youth is the only environment that allows for it. As my opponent correctly stated, children are not always able to make the best decisions. They need an environment that allows for them to learn that responsibility. Responsibility is not divine; It comes with education.
This paradigm shift provides the specific environment required to educate their children about the responsibilities of drinking. Through direct supervision and discussion responsibility will be created. In contrasted the current paradigm disallows alcohol consumption around the parents. The teen then enters college unware of how to drink in a socially responsible manner, and falls prey to the peer pressure of binge drinking outside the sight of any supervision and they lack any responsibly learned skillset to defend with.
5.To my opponent"s direct position, how does he suggest we teach responsibility to youth in regards to alcohol when there is no legal opportunity to do so?
We teach young people how to drive responsibly through supervision of driving and the discussions that naturally follow. We teach young people how to handle guns responsibly through supervision of shooting and the discussions that naturally follow" We teach our young people how to write in a class supervised by an adult teacher" everything youth learn will be from either parents, teacher or peers. We as responsible adults teach our children how to act responsibly in the hope that as adults they grow up and act as responsible adults with those learned skillsets.
However, the current law makes teaching them the responsibility consuming alcohol impossible.

4. My opponent argues: The burden is my opponents to prove his assertion that early exposure for youths to alcohol consumption will not promote a more responsible environment.
This is not correct. He is the instigator. He is making the claim. He must prove his assertion " that reducing the age to 13 will not promote more responsible drinking. Since proving a negative is extremely difficult, He can instead show raising the age from 21 upwards will provide more responsible drinking. At an extreme, Prohibition did not promote responsible drinking. Logically if altering the age upwards or downwards will have any positive or negative effect on the responsibleness of consuming alcohol is his burden, not mine.

on 13 year olds. In round 3 my opponent again seems to think I have acted in poor taste, and is requesting you vote for him because of my actions. If you agree, vote for him. If you feel I was NOT out of line, then by his own stipulations, in fairness, you must vote for me.
4. As he claims I have not defended my position, his own argument against my points actually proves my position. I wrote we must change the current paradigm which will change the stigma of alcohol. That will allow more supervised drinking sessions with parents so they are not fearful of being arrested. This provides a clear opportunity teach their children how to drink responsibly. My opponents response was this ""However traditions can take decades sometimes centuries to change as shown on; There is no timeline attached to my opponents debate question. From the site above provided by my opponent clearly states, " Finally, the primary function of drinking-places, in almost all cultures, appears to be the facilitation of social interaction and social bonding."
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by moneystacker 9 months ago
dang that vote was close good debate and yeah I agree. Also if you have another debate up I would be willing to debate with you again. Learned a lot more from you then most people on here.
Posted by pimpmaster 9 months ago
I agree. It was refreshing. It was something I had never debated before and it is a position I learned a bit about. I see both sides of this debate. As a parent I want the best for my child, and I would like the opportunity to teach them how to drink responsibly without the stigma or legal consequences of giving a teen a beer or glass of wine. On the flip side I see how giving teens the ability to purchase alcohol could be dangerous.

Perhaps one day a compromise will be reached where teens can drink when with their legal guardian but cannot purchase... As a rule of thumb i don't like when the government thinks it knows what is best for my family more than than I do...

Anyway, good luck and thank you.
Posted by moneystacker 9 months ago
This was a good debate though I see I misunderstood some of your arguments and you mine. It will depend on what the reader concludes from each argument. Great debate worth my time for real.
Posted by moneystacker 9 months ago
I never suggested we should ever go with lower the drinking age. I'm saying because of the amount of time it would take and consequences it's not worth it smh. I just have to proove should we lower it not that it could work. Sure communism could work Ik America after a long time but doesn't mean we should set it up.
Posted by Hayd 9 months ago
I'll be voting on this soon :)
Posted by moneystacker 9 months ago
dang I should have edited the round 3 more.

When I say drinking is intrinsic to the individual and intrinsic to society I met to say Inimical.

Inimical means harmful my bad there as well.

Good luck to my opponent and again just for reference pro has to prove the resolution. And con just its not true your contention 3 makes sense. Your saying I should prove the ban leads to less drinking in order to prove lowering the age will lead to more but its kinda eh... I mean if you legalize anything more people will use it... A ban is more questionable its questionable whether certain bans work while legalization always works.

I wouldn't recommend making those arguments anymore because you were confused about the purpose of the con side. ALso people consider this when voting.
Posted by moneystacker 9 months ago
I met to say round 2 is for stating his case but he stated his case in round 1. My bad there
Posted by moneystacker 9 months ago
Just a heads up for people whohaven't been in debate.

Burden of con

1. Simply to disprove the resolution

2. You can't change the resolution in a round.

Con doesn't have to provide solvency at all con literally just has to attack the pro side specifically the resolution. You don't vote off if I prove policies against drug usage work, just if I disprove the resolution.
Posted by moneystacker 9 months ago
My opponent was a doosh and rather harsh in the start of his response. So excuse me for it when voting but when I get home I will be the same. He doesn't seem to like the art of debate eleberating and extending. It's done in highschool debate and debate in general I compteeted for 4 years that's how it is. YOu don't just state something... you impact it. IN debate any debater even trys to add extra to the simplest of statements to reach more voters/judges/people and to debate.

Anyone can say birds can fly.

Anyone can say democracy is good.

But explaining and adding extra stuff to those statements needed or not is what gets a debate going. ALso I had 4,000 characters left you claim the length of my statement may have affected my argumentation but you failed to provide anything for me to argue against. Therefore I didn't need argumentation at all I simply provided it to help start a debate you failed to start.

I will respond to your argument when I get back. It's not bad tbh better then I expected
Posted by moneystacker 9 months ago
and then respond to maybe what I presented I mean
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hayd 9 months ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. I was more brief than I usually would be since I am writing this at 1 in the morning XD