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

The drinking age should be reduced to 18 years of age.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/8/2015 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 443 times Debate No: 82257
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




The drinking age should be reduced to 18.


My opponent has not yet laid out his argument, so I will simply ask for him to do so in this round.
Debate Round No. 1


The drinking age in the United states should be set back to 18 for the following reasons.

1) If an 18 year old can fight for this country, that individual should be allowed to consume alcohol.

2) Less arrests would be made, resulting in more jail space for actual criminals.

3) If you are considered a "Legal Adult" and can be legally tried at an adult level, you should be able to consume alcohol at 18.


My opponent has argued his position of reducing the legal drinking age as a matter which can be treated in isolation. In this, his arguments are not necessarily invalid (although, to my knowledge, underage drinking is not an arrestable offense in most states, which negates point 2 of his argument). However, the reason the legal drinking age is not 18 is because alcohol consumption is distinctly correlated to other activities - mostly notably, drunk driving.

The federal minimum legal drinking was established in 1984, and fully implemented by 1988. Research has found that "among fatally injured drivers ages 16-20, the percentage with positive BACs declined from 61% in 1982 to 31% in 1995" - a more significant decline than any other age group. [1] Alcohol consumption in general has also been reduced in this age group [1]; it has been suggested that this reduction may also be correlated to drops in other crime rates, although findings are not conclusive since other reforms may have also contributed to these drops.

Based on this evidence and contrary to my opponents second point, it is more likely that the minimum legal drinking age has actually kept more young people out of prison. It has also, more conclusively, kept them out of coffins.

Debate Round No. 2


Even thought there are many people, no matter the age that make many bad decisions such as driving, assault, and many others, there are also the people that can handle what they drink. There are people that are 50 years old that drinking should be illegal for, and then theres 17 or 18 year olds that modestly and responsibly drink alcohol. For example, any marine, navy, air force, national guard, or any sort of military defense personel have the responsibility and the discipline to make the decision to serve our country in some shape or form. These people should have the opportunity to consume alcohol legally. Regarding the punishment when it comes to being caught drinking underage, my opponent is mostly correct. You wont necessarily be arrested. However, the punishment you can encounter from these charges is usually worse in the end then jail is. Resulting in loss of drivers license, which can cause an individual to loose their job, which would be a downhill slope from there. The fines that come with this are also very impacting. One can be fined up to $5,000 at the end of the legal predicament.


I understand my opponent's sentiments, but unfortunately the relationship between the legal drinking age and drunk driving accidents and deaths cannot be decoupled. Additionally, early adult alcohol consumption has been shown to have detrimental effects on brain development, leading to a wide range of problems later in life, including a greater likelihood of substance abuse, reduced decision-making ability, and increased risk for depression and suicidal thought. [1]

As well, while the federal minimum legal drinking age prevents minors from purchasing alcohol under the age of 21 in the US, many States grant exceptions on grounds of lawful employment, religious activities, or consent by a parent, guardian, or spouse [2]. Such legislation permits minors to consume alcohol responsibly in a controlled and safe environment. I would submit that this type of legislation is better poised to mitigate the risks traditionally associated with underage drinking.

1. "Dangers of Teen Drinking,"
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by DATXDUDE 2 years ago
Bring back prohibition!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by piefav 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used actual sources.