The Instigator
Austin1061
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Vexorator
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

The drinking age should be 18

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Vexorator
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/12/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,319 times Debate No: 60389
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (3)

 

Austin1061

Pro

For this debate, my opponent and I will be debating whether or not the drinking age should be lowered to 18 years old in the US. I will take the pro/for position, in favor of the drinking age being lowered. My opponent will take the con/against, arguing that the law should remain the same at 21 years old, or be raised.

Round 1: Acceptance/Basic Viewpoint
Round 2: Main Argument
Round 3: Rebuttals

My stance is that the drinking age should be lowered to 18 because for the following reasons.
- The current law in unenforceable
- The current law only increases the dangers of alcohol.
- The current law does not prevent alcohol related deaths.
Vexorator

Con

I accept. My position as con will be that the drinking age (in the US) should not be lowered to 18.
Debate Round No. 1
Austin1061

Pro

I am in favor of the drinking age being lowered to 18. My opponent is in favor of not lowering the drinking age to 18.

Of the many reasons why the drinking age should be lowered, I will the select the top three reasons that represent why I am in favor of lowering the drinking age.

1. Legal Adulthood is 18 in US.
2. When persons under 21 drinks, they tend to drink more for the thrill.
3. With the current law in place, people still drink alcohol in private locations.


1. When a person reaches the age of 18 years old in the United States, they are a legal adult. They have the right to vote in an election and they have the right to enlist in the army. To put it in limelight, an adult can choose who their leader is and can choose to take a bullet for the country. With these responsibilities, it is only right that they should be allowed to bear the responsibility of alcohol.

The definition of a legal adult: a person who has attained the age of majority and is therefore regarded as independent, self-sufficient and responsible.

A legal adult is responsible as the previous definition states. So with that responsibility, legal adults should be allowed to purchase and drink alcohol due to the fact that they are reasons to do so by definition.

I ask, why can a legal adult have their right to consume stripped from them?


2.
With the current age restriction in place, drinking alcohol is a special privilege reserved for those older than 21. When 18-20 year olds get their hands on it, they tend to go crazy with it. This only happens because they are excited and thrilled that they have got their hands on this special thing and do not know when the next time will come where they can drink this special thing.

The effect of this is drunk drivers and alcohol related deaths. If the age restriction was lowered, 18-20 year olds wouldn't view alcohol as a special drink, it would just be regarded as any other normal beverage. If 18-20 years could buy alcohol, then they wouldn't binge drink when they get their hands on alcohol because they know when they want more they can just go to the store and get some.


3. Even now with the current age restriction in place, 18-20 year olds still drink in private locations, away from the public eye. This adds to the danger of unsafe drinking. If 18 year old were allowed to drink, they would drink more often in bars and other public places. This would in turn provide a safer drinking environment for them, as they would be under the supervision of employees, bartenders and police.

Additionally, the current law does not good. The law in unenforceable with 18-20 year olds still able to drink behind closed doors. The current law is just a burden to those who have reached adulthood.

http://healthresearchfunding.org...
http://www.cognac.com...
http://drinkingage.procon.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Vexorator

Con





ARGUMENTS

1. Alcohol Dependencies

“Alcohol dependence is a substance related disorder in which an individual is addicted to alcohol either physically or mentally, and continues to use alcohol despite significant areas of dysfunction.”[1]

“Young adults, ages 18-20, have the highest rate of alcohol dependence in the U.S. population.”[2] Alcohol is an addictive substance, and young adults are more likely to form addictions because their brains have not yet reached full development.

It is better for one not to develop an alcohol dependency, especially at such a young age, under 20. Around 50% of alcoholics started drinking at a very young age, whereas only 9% of alcoholics started drinking when they were over 21 years old.[3]

The following chart chart shows that 18-20 year olds are almost twice as likely to abuse alcohol or develop dependencies than 21+ year olds, let alone 15-17 year olds are almost five times as likely and under 14 year olds are almost eight times as likely.[4]



2. Lowering the drinking age would be medically irresponsible

Drinking alcohol before one has reached their mid-twenties can cause alterations in the function and structure of the young adult’s developing brain. Pertaining to young adults, the parts of the brain that alcohol can affect include, but are not limited to, the cerebral vortex, central nervous system, frontal lobes, hippocampus, cerebellum, hypothalamus, and the medulla.[5] Young adults should allow their brains to become fully developed and matured before they consume decent amounts of alcohol. If a young adult is legally able to purchase alcohol, then they are most likely not going to consume “just a sip.”



3. Lowering the drinking age would have a “trickle-down” effect

“There is also some "trickle-down" effect in that when youth get alcohol they often give it to even younger teens. When the legal age is 21, 19- and 20-year olds can often obtain alcohol from their friends. When the drinking age was 18 and 19, 17- and even 16-year olds were often able to get alcohol from their friends. If the drinking age is lower, more alcohol will be available to younger high school students and perhaps even middle school students.”[6] To sum this up, 21-24 year olds typically buy alcohol for 18-20 year olds. If 18-20 year olds can legally buy alcohol, then the same effect applies. 18 year olds will, with no doubt, buy alcohol for kids 17 and under. We can see this already with tobacco laws, where 18-20 year olds buy cigarettes for those under 17 years of age.

SOURCES

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://www.surgeongeneral.gov...

[3] http://www.nytimes.com...

[4] http://www.samhsa.gov...

[5] http://www.toosmarttostart.samhsa.gov...;


--------------------

As agreed, there will be no new arguments in round 3. I await your rebuttals.

Debate Round No. 2
Austin1061

Pro

Rebuttals

1.
My opponent states his first issue with lowering the drinking age to be increased alcohol dependencies.

The current law induces fear to those who drink underage, thus they tend to drink in private places. Because of this, current underage alcoholics drinking away from the public eye, including older adults. If they drank in public, the older adults would be able to intervene and help them with their addiction. Lowering the drinking age would in turn lower 18-20 year old alcohol dependency due to the fact that this age group would be drinking in the safety of the public. [1][2]

2. My opponent states the lowering the drinking age would be medically irresponsible.

At 18 years old, a person can buy tobacco. I assume we can agree that tobacco is very unhealthy. Given that, an adult is allowed to damage their body with tobacco, but not alcohol. That doesn't make sense considering there are on average 480,000 smoking related deaths a year compared to only 88,000 alcohol related deaths a year. If lowering the drinking age is medically irresponsible, then why is the age to purchase tobacco not 21 years old? [3][4]

3. My opponent says lowering the drinking age would have a "trickle-down" effect.

80% of high school seniors admit to having at least one drink. This showcases that even with the current age restriction now, that the trickle-down effect will happen no matter what. Whether to lower or raise the drinking age, minors will always be able to get their hands on alcohol. There is no way to stop this, and it is something that only parents can fix. If the parents aren't responsible enough, then there is no way to prevent minors from drinking. [5]


[1] http://www.speakupcoalition.org...
[2] http://drinkingage.procon.org...
[3] http://www.cdc.gov...
[4] http://www.cdc.gov...
[5] http://alcoholnews.org...

To be fair, my opponets rebuttals should only be regarding my main argurment, and not in regards to my rebuttals.
Vexorator

Con

Thank you Con for your rebuttals.



REBUTTALS

1. Legal Adulthood is 18 in US

While legal adulthood is 18 in the US, the age of full brain development does not come until one's twenties.


"They have the right to vote in an election and enlist in the army. It is only right that they should be allowed to take the responsibility of alcohol."
These two arguments are not related to drug use, the intaking of alcohol. As I proved in my previous arguments, alcohol use physically affects the bodies of younger drinkers more than it does to older adults.

Voting does not pose any immediate physical affects to the body. Yes, 18 year olds can fight for our country and take a bullet, but that is not drug related. 18 year olds are much more likely to die as a result of alcohol abuse or DUI than being shot while serving in the military. 5000 underage drinkers die every year as a result of alcohol, and 190,000 underage drinkers are hospitilized every year from alcohol related incidents.[1] The number of deaths of 18-20 year olds serving in the military are too low to compare.

2. Underage drinkers drink more for the thrill

Pro has falied to prove that alcohol "being hard to get" is the main factor in heavy underage drinking. Since Pro's argument here is opinionated, I will give my opinions as well. There are better alternatives in teaching underage drinkers the effects of alcohol by just letting them drink however much they want. Alcohol consumption and moderation should be taught by teachers and parents, not first hand experimentation.

3. People still drink alcohol
People still get drunk at bars and other public places, even at the legal age. Allowing young adults to drink in public does not mean that they will not abuse alcohol.

"The law is unenforceable."
Actually, it is enforceable. You must provide a valid ID to show that you are at least 21 years old in order to purchase alcohol. Drinking and driving underage has more consequences than drinking and driving at legal age. If someone breaks the law by drinking underage, it's called breaking the law. Yes, young adults are still able to drink alcohol. Someone underage being able to drink alcohol does not show that therefore the drinking age should be lowered if underage drinkers want to drink anyway.

4. Sources
This is a rebuttal regarding Pro's sources.

First source: Shows the pros and cons to lowering the drinking age, so it works in my favor as well.
Third source: Same as above.

Those two sources do not give your argument the edge over the cons to lowering the drinking age, they just show the pros and cons. By just listing the pros from a website that shows pros and cons, you are not arguing for the lowering of the drinking age, you are showing the pros which would leave the voters to vote based on their own opinions as to whether they agree with the pros or the cons.


SOURCES

[1] http://www.niaaa.nih.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Vexorator 3 years ago
Vexorator
@Austin1061 (Pro)

As for your rebuttal to my second argument, I'd appreciate it if you could explain it a bit more clearly. I specifically said that alcohol affects the brain, not the lungs. Your rebuttal for "but tobacco affects the body too" doesn't make sense, when the lungs are completely different from the brain. The brain takes many more years to fully develop than the lungs do.
Posted by Shadow-Dragon 3 years ago
Shadow-Dragon
Peoples' brains are also still developing at that age, so lowering the age would be detrimental to brain growth.
Posted by Vexorator 3 years ago
Vexorator
Some how I forgot to put down the source for [6], but here it is if anyone wants.

[6] http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov...
Posted by Vexorator 3 years ago
Vexorator
I am personally for the lowering of the drinking age, but I believe that those who aren't have a good case as to why they think otherwise. I am participating in this debate so that others and myself may be more educated about the cons to lowering the drinking age.
Posted by Evan_Cummings 3 years ago
Evan_Cummings
Eighteen year old men and women die for this country... Drinking in Europe begins at age 16, possible to search Euro Statistics, culture and crime to find more evidence...
Posted by Vexorator 3 years ago
Vexorator
Shadow-Dragon:

Murder and crime are illegal no matter what age, so that argument is flawed.
Posted by CodyLTJames 3 years ago
CodyLTJames
ur an idiot to compare crime and beverages
Posted by Shadow-Dragon 3 years ago
Shadow-Dragon
The fact that people are going to drink anyway is such an overused but flawed argument.
With that logic, we should legalize murder and crime, because people are going to commit them anyway.
Posted by Malacoda 3 years ago
Malacoda
I might accept this if I can debate that the drinking age should be lowered below 21, but above 18.
Posted by LubricantSanta 3 years ago
LubricantSanta
You should change your age/criterion so I can debate this. I already have my points planned out.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Austin1061VexoratorTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Drunk driving and brain edvelopment.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
Austin1061VexoratorTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: pro had good arguments, especially about ones that young people already have alcohol when young, so the drinking age lower-down would have little effect. Even the health disadvantages were rebutted, with the comparison of tobacco to alcohol. However, con pointed out the disadvantages of alcohol upon the brain, especially since the brain isn't mature, and that young adults still had to show their ID in order to drink alcohol. And the trickle-down effect worked very well in con's favor as well.
Vote Placed by Domr 3 years ago
Domr
Austin1061VexoratorTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's sources were weak. Con did a great job arguing why drinking age should not be lowered. Brain development is a strong case that went unrefuted.